Friday, December 31, 2010

Where Am I?

I guess if you read this blog regularly, you have noticed that I have not posted in quite some time....December 15th to be exact.  I attempted to write that day, only to lose my entire post in the touch of a button.  I was frustrated and decided to walk away for a little bit.  Then things began heating up here in South Korea.  If you have watched the news during December, you have probably seen many things on TV and in the newspapers.  Since we live so close to the border, life became a little uneasy.  Even though we were told to go about our day as normal, the stress of the uncertainty of what North Korea might or might no do, was wearing on our family.  If you remembering reading my post earlier this summer about NEO, military families need to be prepared in case  something would happen between North and South Korea.  If something negative would take place that would trigger a NEO, we would be evacuated with only a suitcase per person.  With the military drills that the ROK (Republic of Korea) Army was performing, the threat of North Korea responding was a probability.  I just really    couldn't focus on blogging.  It was enough to get through the day with sick children, homeschooling and keeping my home functioning.

Since North Korea did not respond negatively during the military exercises that South Korea did, I am feeling a little better.  I am hoping that as this New Year begins, I can be more focused and planned with my blog and my life in general.  I can’t believe today is New Year’s Eve and 2011 is around the corner.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions but I am hoping to make some changes in my life this coming new year.  With God’s help, I know that I can be all He has created me to be.  I pray that you have a blessed New Year.

Our girls on Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I had my entire post typed and was proofing it when was gone.  I am a little overwhelmed and need to walk away from the computer right now.  I hope to come back later and rewrite my entire post from scratch.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Christmas Wishlist

I am the type of person that would buy something for my children or husband instead of myself.  There are many times that my husband has to tell me, "please go and buy something for yourself."  At times I am overly frugal and will cut corners even though we have the money for the things that could make the project or life a little easier.
I don't collect anything.  I hate clutter.  I'm not big on impractical things.  Most of what I would choose would make my life easier in the kitchen and around the house.
So this year I decided to dream big...LOL I am not asking for any of these things but they are on my wishlist. After the holidays, if I end up deeming that they might be necessary, I might save up for one of them. These are in no particular order.
1. SLR Camera

2. BOSCH Universal Mixer Plus

3. Pasta Maker       I have no idea what kind of pasta maker is good.  I have never made pasta from scratch, so if you have a pasta machine that you like, please let me know.  I am open to suggestions.

4.  I Touch
5. House - We are living in an apartment here in Korea.  Almost every week, Breanna (4) will ask, "when do we get to move to our house?"  I try to explain that this is our home, but she is thinking that we should have our own house.  One day I would like to have my own house too Breanna!  I have begun to save toward this one.  Maybe by the time Angel retires in 20 years, we'll have enough money put aside to pay cash for a home.
6. New Family Room Sofas - The set we currently have used to be my grandmother's . It's not super old (only 10 years old) but it has seen it's share or wear and tear.  I would love to get something that is comfortable, cozy, and large enough not only for our family of 6 but for guests also.  It needs to be able to be easily cleaned and can take constant moves.
What's on your Christmas wish or dream list?  Have you had your eye on something?  These material things I have chosen will eventually fade away or be destroyed.  Tomorrow I will share my Christmas wishlist of those things which neither moth nor rust will destroy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Good Intentions

At the beginning of November, I came across some wonderful ideas on the internet.  I went through the different blogs and bookmarked the ones that I wanted to do with the girls this holiday season.  I was excited!

The next thing I knew, it was already Thanksgiving and I had not taken the time to gather what I needed to carry out my great ideas.  But I still have least that is what I told myself.  I pulled up a few of the blogs and made some notes.

Then it was December....and here I am with these great plans in my head and good intentions  of things I wanted to complete, yet I have not done a single one of them.

WHY did I start off so strong and yet end so poorly?  I am in the process of evaluating why I have not followed through. I had an interesting conversation with my husband today about how together I was during his year long deployment to Iraq last year yet I seem to be lacking enthusiasm lately.  And it's not just with putting together some great projects and things for our family to do together.  

It is in my parenting....staying on top of my kids role in the FRG....our homeschool schedule and more.  

I don't want to blame it on the craziness of our lives the last year because even though it may have contributed to things, it is not entirely to blame.  Maybe it's because I am not entirely content living here in Korea and miss my family back in the states.  I've noticed that my husband and I have not really had the time necessary to reintegrate our lives since he returned from deployment.

I know that there is probably not one single thing that has contributed to my good intentions only being that...just good intentions...but a compilation of things.  I guess it's time to get serious with myself and make some changes.

Ah, the magic word....CHANGE.  I really don't like that word, even though I know it's a part of life.  Do any of us like that word?  When we first got orders to Korea, I was so excited about the upcoming change.  BUT now that I am here, I wish I was back in Texas.

Since life is about learning, growing and changing and we are all lifetime students, I should kick it in gear and stop fooling around in class and get serious.  I am a mom, a wife, a sister and a friend.  I have a job to do and no one is going to do it for me.  So it's time to take those good intentions a little further and make them a reality.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Day

Today has not been the day I had hoped say the least.  I finished my post for today and the saved button was highlighted, so I assumed that everything was saved...but clearly it was not and I am now typing a shorter post since I am exhausted and need to head to bed.

My original post was about ice skating. Hopefully I'll have the time to finish it tomorrow.  But while working on the post, I found out that my video camera had an HDD Error and lost all the videos that I had on it.  I also opened my camera to find my touch screen cracked.  Not my day!

Since things come in threes, I am waiting to see what the third thing is that has gone wrong but I haven't found out about yet.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Caramel Apple Muffins

I came across this recipe on another blog a few weeks ago (please don't ask me which blog because I can not remember) and I put it in my "try later" file.  Today became "later" and this evening I made these muffins.  I must say, they were pretty good.

Caramel Apple Muffins

2 cups of flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped, peeled tart apple
12 caramels

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oats
3 Tbs. melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.  Fold in the caramels and apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I made a few adjustments to the original recipe.  I omitted the butter in the topping, hoping to cut a few calories.  I also did not put the caramels in the dough.  Instead I filled each muffin tin halfway with the dough and then placed a caramel in the middle and covered it with more dough.

I  think this recipe will be a keeper.  If I can remember where I found it, I'll post a link to that blog.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated Breanna's 4th Birthday.  She has been waiting....and waiting....and waiting for her birthday.  She was so excited when we finally started planning.  She wanted a pink cake with a tiara on top and her two friends to come over to play Wii.  Since her request was quite simple, we made it happen.  Except that instead of putting the tiara on the cake, I just put it on her head.

I did my best to make the cake to look like the picture she saw in a cookbook.  We had a nice dinner with her friends' family and afterwards, we all played Wii bowling. 

Here are some pictures of Breanna's special day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Walk In My Shoes Trailer

Living overseas, I am a bit out of the loop in regards to television and movies but this upcoming movie, being shown on NBC this Friday, December 3rd was recently brought to my attention. It is being produced by Walmart and P&G (Proctor and Gamble) as a part of thier Family Move Night Initiative.  "A Walk In My Shoes" reveals what life is really like when one woman ends up in the shoes of the woman she has not only judged but also criticized. This movie deals with struggles that the military communities are facing today and that is why I am posting this on my blog. Even though we are overseas, I am hoping to watch this upcoming movie in the very near future. Check out the trailer and if you get a change, watch the movie this Friday at 8:00PM EST. Don't forget to come back here and post your comments and opinions on this new release.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Uijeongbu Methodist Church

For the last few months, my husband has been teaching a weekly Bible Study in English at Uijeongbu Methodist Church, located in downtown Uijeongbu.  The other week, instead of holding the Bible Study, the pastor invited the families of those attending the weekly study to come out for a dessert fellowship.  Our family went and we had a nice time meeting new people.

Bible Study group and their families

The pastor also gave us a tour of the beautiful facility.  I wish I had taken more pictures to share with you but unfortunately, I did not.  There are many wonderful ministries taking place at Uijeongbu Methodist Church and it's funny how we got to meet the pastor.

All Army chaplains wear a symbol on their uniform to show that they are chaplains.  In his case, my husband wears a cross above his name, to show that he is of Protestant faith.  One day while he was getting his hair cut on post and the manager noticed the cross on my husband's uniform and started up a converstation with him. He told him that he would like him to meet one of the pastors at his church who speaks English. 

My husband set up a time to get together to have lunch with Pastor Yim.  From that initial meeting, Pastor Yim expressed a desire to have an English Bible Study at their church and asked if my husband would be available to lead that study.  From meeting one of the church members while getting his hair cut, my husband has developed a unique relationship with Pastor Yim and has had the opportunity to not only impact his unit for Christ but also a little piece of South Korea.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The other week our family had an opportunity to see the beginnings of Kimchi being made at a local Korean church.  The women of the church gathered in the church's kitchen to make this traditional Korean dish.  We were there on day one of the two that they would be spending making Kimchi.  On this first day, the women were preparing 1200 heads of cabbage.  It was not what you and I might know of cabbage from the was actually Napa cabbage.

There was a group of ladies squatting or sitting on the floor.  Their job was to remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and to cut it in half. 

The cabbage then made it's way into the kitchen, where more ladies were washing the cabbage.  They would rinse it in the sink, then place it in large buckets to rinse yet again.  From this rinse, the cabbage would be shaken and placed in a large plastic bin similar to a feed trough.  As the cabbage was layered in the bin, it would be sprinkled with salt. and set overnight.

One of the ladies grabbed my hand and proceeded to give me her boots, gloves, and apron so that I could help in the kitchen.  I was put to work rinsing cabbage and layering it in the bins.  It was a neat experience, even if her boots were two sizes to small for me.

I was being put to work

Cabbage brought into the kitchen after being cut

Hard at work 

Receiving instructions

More work

The lady asked me if I spoke Japanese

My  new friend who put me to work

The next day the women of the church would meet together again to season the cabbage and complete the Kimchi making process.  I was unable to join them for this.

While I have tried Kimchi, it is not my favorite food.  It's a bit too spicy for me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I pray that you all know the blessing of the Lord this holiday season.  May your homes be full of joy and gratitude.  Enjoy the time with your  family and friends.  As you sit down to a turkey dinner today, don't forget to share what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for friends in South Korea with whom I am able to share this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my family which I miss very much.

I am thankful for my husband and children who make me laugh everyday.

I am thankful for the provision and hand of the Lord in my life.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours

Have you ever heard the saying, "Be careful what you ask for"?  Well, it rings true for me lately.  Since we are military living overseas, we can use coupons in the Commissary up to six months past the expiration date.  Back in the states, I was an avid coupon clipper.  I really miss getting a weekly paper.  So I posted on facebook about two months ago that I was in need of some coupons.  About 5 people responded and said they would like to help. But when it was all said and done, only one person sent coupons.

It was nice to have them but my supplies were getting low, so I decided to post on facebook again and see if anyone would respond.  I had about the same response as the previous time...about 5 people.  But this time it was different.  Coupons have begun pouring many of them that I've had to share the wealth with my friends and neighbors.

Thank you to all of you who sent coupons to me.  You have helped not only me but a lot of other people too.  Considering the Commissary doesn't doulble coupons, I was able to save over $30.00 on my first shopping trip with all my "new" coupons. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seasons Change

As the seasons of weather do the seasons in life.  Sometimes we love the place where we are, while other times we are waiting for something fresh and new to come our way.  Wherever you may be today, embrace the season that you are in.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  NIV

Monday, November 22, 2010

Faith Deployed Book Review and Giveaway

In the introduction to her book Jocelyn Green states,

       "Faith Deployed is not a guide to long-distance relationships or a how-to
        on navigating through the military culture. It does not offer “ten easy
        steps” for an easier, painless life. Instead, through squarely addressing
        the challenges you face, Faith Deployed will equip you to respond
        biblically to the daily struggles that threaten to wear you down."

This book is exactly what Green set out to produce. It is a great tool to help women get through the ups and downs of life as a military wife.

Faith Deployed is written by military spouses, from all branches of service, who share their common experiences that most military wives will relate to. Their honesty and transparency is refreshing. This book is not only for those going through a deployment or separation, but for all military wives.

We were new to the military and were going through our first deployment when I received a copy of this book from my local PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel) president.  While my husband was in Iraq, I used Faith Deployed as part of my devotional time each morning. It was just what I needed to start off my day.

Faith Deployed is broken down into 8 themed sections with approximately 10 chapters per section. The chapters are short and concise. Beginning with a scripture, each chapter encourages the military wife with personal stories by the different authors, followed by thought provoking questions to get you thinking, and ending with a prayer related to what you just read.

Faith Deployed is a must have book in the library of every military wife.  It is an invaluable tool that I will not only keep on my bookshelf, but gladly share with other military spouses. It's an inspirational book for women who are holding down the fort, giving hope for those keeping the family moving forward in the midst of war and separation.

For more information, visit

You can purchase this book through the following websites:
 Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives won:

• Bronze Medal, spiritual/religious category, Military Writers Society of America (award presented in Pittsburgh on Oct. 2, 2010)

• Bronze Medal, inspirational category, Branson Stars and Flags Book Awards (award will be presented in Branson, Mo., Nov. 6 – but I will not be able to be there)

The book’s Web site, , won third place in the blog category this year from the Evangelical Press Association, too.

Green, Jocelyn. Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives. Chicago: Moody, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0-8024-5250-4  $9.99

Moody Publishers has graciously provided me with two books to giveway.  Two winners will be chosen and each winner will get  a copy of Faith Deployed.
To enter:
     Leave a comment on this post of why you would like win this book.
Giveaway ends on Thursday, November 25th at midnight EST. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

10 Favorite Movies

This is the last post in the 100 Things About Me Series and my second post for the day.

We are not movie fanatics.  You know, the kind of people who stay up til midnight to see the first screening of the day of a brand new movie.  We normally don't go to the movies because it just costs too much.  Here in Korea, we are able to see movies on post for free, so we have taken advantage of that benefit.  I have probably seen more movies in the last six months at a movie theatre than I have in the last six years.

Nowadays, its hard to find a good clean movie that the whole familiy can enjoy.  Even the movies targeted toward children have some kind of adult inuendos in them.  I have seen a few good movies that I like and would recommend to a friend.  So here they are. 

1.  Fireproof - When this came out on DVD, I bought it.  I love that this movie brings hope to families and marriages that would otherwise be hopeless.

2.  The Sound of Music - What is even more exciting is that my husband and I got to visit the area where this movie supposidly took place.

3. White Christmas - Our family watches this movie every year at Christmas time and sometimes when it's not Christmas too!

4.  Facing the Giants - another inspirational movie

5.  Rocky Balboa - I haven't seen this one in quite awhile but my husband and I watched his one night when all the kids were in bed.  I mainly watched it because he wanted me to but it ended up being a good movie.

6.  Christmas Shoes / Christmas Blessing - ok, maybe this one is up here because it's the holidays and I've become a bit sappy.

7.  Letters to God - I recently borrowed this movie and it made me cry. 

8. Princess Bride - an oldie but goodie.

9.  The Bourne Series -

10. Toy Story 3 - Since I have seen this one twice in the last few months, I thought I would list it. I really wasn't into the earlier Toy Story Movies but this one was pretty good. 

Market Day

In Korea, each town has a Market Day.  You may see people set up on the days that end in 5 or 0, or you they may be there on a certain weekend each month.  Today my daughter was outside playing with her friend and came in the house excited, it was Market Day in our neighborhood.  Since we can't read or speak Korean, we had no idea that this Market Day was posted in the apartment elevator.

Market Day as seen from my apartment window
 On Market Day, you see vendor set up under tents or umbrellas with their goods that they are selling.  Since it's not a store, you can expect to haggle with them on the price for what you are interested in buying.  They sell everything from fruits, veggie and meats to hair accessories, underwear and gloves.  I have been fighting a cold this week and did not want to go out but I was very interested in getting some fruits and vegetables.

I gave my daughter some Won (Korean money) and a list of things I would like and she came back a few minutes later.  We love the small oranges that they sell here, so that was at the top of our list.  I also wanted cucumbers and mushrooms.  She was able to find everything I asked for and more. 

Victoria enjoying a few oranges

After the girls dug into the first bag of oranges, I knew that we would need more, so I sent my daughter back to get another bag.  Even after our second purchase, there are not many left.  I think my oldest daughter ate upwards of 10 of these small oranges.  I guess it's better to be eating fruit instead of candy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 Favorite Books...or not

I love to read.  I read to learn, to better myself, to be able to help others or just for fun.  I know I said that I am going to post my 10 favorite books, but right now I am having trouble coming up with my top 10.  I thought about breaking it down into my favorite marriage book or my favorite parenting book.  Well, that's not really working for me either.

I am going to have to change this post to what is on my current "To Read List" and a few of my favorite authors.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I think I'll go crazy trying to narrow things down.

These are the books on my night stand that I am currently reading or will be reading soon.

1.  Me and My Big Mouth by Joyce Meyer
2.  Boundaries with Teens by Dr. John Townsend
3.  Crazy Love by Francis Chan
4.  The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
5.  Life Skills for Kids by Christine Field
6.  Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre
7.  Miracles by Terri Blackstock

My favorite book is The Bible. 

A few of the authors that I enjoy reading are:

Dr. Kevin Leman
Gary Chapman
Terri Blackstock
Karen Kingsbury
Kay Arthur
James Dobson
Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Gary Smalley

I know this post started out as 10 favorites and ended up turning into something completely different.  I hope you are still encouraged.

What is your favorite book(s)?  What author(s) do you like to read? 

Is there a book that has inspired or challenged you? 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 Things I Know

Our experiences in life can teach us many things, if we are willing to learn through them.  These experiences show us things that we should avoid, how to treat others, how to and not to parent, and many more things.  Everyday I continue to learn new things.  I just hope that I am smart enough to apply them in my life so I don't end up having to repeat the hard lessons.

There are many things I have learned in the last 38 years.  I will share a mere 10 of them with you.

1.  Parenting is a hard job, especially the tween and teen years.

2.  A good marriage takes work, it doesn't just happen.

3.  The people closest to you will hurt you more than those you really don't know.

4.  Life has it's good and it's bad. 

5. God can heal and restore relationships that you thought were over.

6. A family is made up of people who are all very different from each other.

7.  You can't change people, only God can, so don't keep trying.

8.  Yelling doesn't make your kids hear you any better than talking in a regular tone.

9.  As parents, our children display our best and worst character traits and it is usually magnified.

10. The more stuff you have, the more time and work it takes to keep it clean.

So what lessons have you learned from life?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 Favorites

Singing along with Maria VonTrapp...."these are a few of my favorite things."

1.  Color - Green

2.  Season- Fall   I love the changing of the weather, falling leaves and a fire in our fire pit with smores.

3.  Music Group -  This one is hard...I'll just list a few.  Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, Third Day, David Crowder, and many more.

4. Cold Drink - It's a tie between Sweet Tea with lemon and an ice cold Pepsi, preferably from a can...but since I cut soda out of my diet, I guess the sweet tea wins.

5.  Hot Drink - Hot Tea...plain ole tea with sugar and milk.  I do not like herbal teas, mint teas or any kind of flavored tea. 

6.  Food - I don't think I have a favorite food item.  I really enjoy seafood like fish, shrimp and steamed Maryland Blue crabs. 

7.  Book of the Bible - Proverbs

8.  Holiday - Christmas

9.  City or Country - I prefer the country...even though I married a city boy.  He reminded me can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy.

10. Sports Team - I was born in Baltimore so I stick with the home teams...  Baltimore Orioles and The Ravens.

Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Things I Want to Do

We all have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and things we want to do.  When I was a little girl, all I wanted to do was to grow up and become a mommy.  When I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to marry a pastor.  In college, I started getting interested in the medical field.

My goals have changed over the years because I have reached some of those goals and the others because life has shown me that they are not for now. I am constantly telling my husband that I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  While my focus for now is to raise my chilren, I still have some things on my heart that I would like to do.

1.  Take my children on the mission field - I am not talking about being a full-time missionary but taking my girls on short term trips. It is the trips that I went on as a teenager that really impacted my life.  I want my daughters to see that people all over the globe need Jesus and that we are His hands and feet.

2.  Go back to college - I have my bachelor's degree in Pastoral ministry but I would like to go back to school.  I waiver in what I want to do.  My interest in the medical field says to go to nursing school.  My heart for people tells me to study Christian Counseling.  I am not sure where I will end up down the road but I always want to be bettering myself as a person, a leader and a friend.

3. Have a homestead - I don't think I could make my own clothing from the wool that I harvest (is that even the right word) but I would love to be able to sustain myself and my family on the land.  This past year, I began grinding my own grain to make our baked goods.  I would love to expand that to include raising some animals.  I know, those of you who know me are laughing out loud right now.  I am not an animal person.  But these animals would not be in my house.

4.  Travel to each state in the United States of America - A few years ago, my husband and I mapped out our "Dream Vacation".  It included most of the great parks of the United States.  Growing up on the East Coast, I have not really ventured west to do any sightseeing.  I have been to California, but only in the San Francisco airport.  I want to do more than see cities based on flying through them. I hope that our "Dream Vacation" becomes a reality in the near future.

5.  See the world with my husband and children - Ok, maybe not the entire world but there are many beautiful things in God's wonderful creation that I would like to experience with my family.

6.   Learn to play the piano - I took about six months of piano lessons as a child and then I gave up. Now I really wish I would have stuck it out.  I guess it's not to late....better late than never right?

7.  Be more patient - If patience is a virtue, then I am far from virtuous.  I desire to be more patient with my children and husband.  I know this is a process and I am thankful that God is still working on me.

8.  Speak Spanish fluently - You'd think by now that a girl like me....who took five years of Spanish and is married to a man whose first language was Spanish, would be able to speak Spanish.  But sadly, I do not.  I gotta get rid of the fear.  Maybe then I'll be able to do it.

9. Write a book - Why?  I am not really sure but I would like to write a book one day.  What would it be about?  I don't know...maybe life.  My experiences. When I know...I'll be sure to let you know.

10. Raise children who love and serve God- This is pretty much self-explanatory.  I want my kids to love God and serve Him with their gifts and talents.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

10 Things I Enjoy

There are things that are a part of life that we don't like to do, like cleaning up puke or wiping poopy butts, and there are things that we enjoy.  I will stick to the positive things and share with you 10 things I enjoy.  I hope you don't expect to see a theme, these 10 things may just jump all over the place.

1.  Being a mom - this is one of those jobs that you  take the good along with the bad.  I love snuggling up with my girls.  I love teaching them and seeing them "get it".  I love their whit and humor, which makes me laugh daily.  I love seeing Christ in them, how they love others and put others first.

2.  Organizing - When I was young, I used to organize my aunt's kitchen cabinets just for the fun of it. I love helping people get organized and seeing the change from before to after.  My husband will probably tell you that my organizing drives him nuts.  He will lay an item somewhere only to come back and find it missing. When he asks me if I have seen it I reply, "Of course, I have been organizing and I put it in the drawer."  He should have known not to ask if I've seen it but just to ask where it might be.

3.  Reading - I love to read.  I wish I had more time to read.  Some of the authors I like to read are Karen Kingsbury, Terry Blackstock, Gary Chapman, Dr. Kevin Leman....just to name a few.  I also enjoy doing Beth Moore Bible studies.  I like to read for fun.  And I like to read to learn.  Those books take longer to get through because I want to be able to apply them in my life.

4.  Singing - Even though I am not a great vocalist, I like to sing, especially worship music.  I like singing even more with my family.  Sometimes my husband will get out his guitar and we will just sit around the living room with the girls and sing.

5.  Cooking - As I've said before, I am not risk taker but I have ventured out in this area with regard to cooking.  In the past, I would have never tried a new recipe when company was coming over or tried winging a recipe, but I'm doing better in getting out of my comfort zone. 

6.  Cleaning - I like seeing the difference from being dirty to clean.  What else is there to say.  I am not a fan of cleaning clothes though.

7. Having company - I like having friends, family and new acquaintances over for an evening of food, fun and fellowship.

8. Milk chocolate and caramel - just had to throw that in here :)

9. Holidays - Growing up, our immediate family would get together with all of our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents for the holidays.  I would always look forward to these gatherings.  We would even get together to celebrate birthdays (quarterly), babies being born and cousins getting married. My mom is the youngest of 5 and each of my aunts/uncles have 2 or 3 children and we (the grandchildren) have 3 or 4 children.  Can you imagine what the holidays look like at our family gatherings?

10. Encouraging Women to be Better Wives and Mothers - Life is hard enough as it is always better when we can have a Battle Buddy or someone to encourage and mentor us in area that we struggle.  Here in Korea, I am still trying to find my niche and apply this in my life. 

 May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

Friday, November 12, 2010

10 Places I'd like the Military to Take Us

Some people may think that moving every few years is annoying but I am looking at it as a perk of Army life. They pack us up, ship our stuff to our new location, unpack our stuff and put our beds and tables together.  What more could a girl ask for?

Since my husband joined the military in 2007, our family has lived in three locations.  Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Hood, Texas, and South Korea.  We will be placing the following locations on our upcoming wish lists.

1.  Germany - We have visited here before back in the mid 90s when friends of ours were stationed in the Bavarian Alps.  It's a beautiful country but 10 days was just not enough.  We'd love to have the opportunity to live there.  Being centrally located in Europe would allow us to be able to travel to lots of other great places.

2.  Italy - This one probably won't happen but I can dream can't I?  I think most soldiers assigned here are Airborne and my husband is not. 

3.  Colorado - I am not entirely fond of the cold....unless snow comes with it and in Colorado they have both.  Plus Focus on the Family is located near the military posts here.  My husband would love to hike the mountains in this state.

4.  Alaska - This is one of those places where somedays I think it would be cool and other days I think it would be crazy to live here.  Friends of mine are currently stationed there and it was already snowing in October.  Plus the crazy daylight almost all day and days of sunsets at 4PM. 

5.  Hawaii - I'm not sure if I would go stir crazy living on an Island or not.  The warm weather and beaches make this location inviting.  It would be a bit expensive for my family to come and visit though.

6. Belgium - Another country in Europe. Meaning we could travel.  I have been to Ireland & England and would love my husband and children to experience what I did as a young adult.  Being stationed in Belgium, we would be central to some great tourist locations.

7. Seattle - At first, Seattle didn't appeal to me but the more I think about it, it might be a neat place to live.  Plus you can take cruises from there to see whales and glaciers in Alaska.  Does it sound like all I want to do is travel?  I want to see as much of God's wonderful creation that I can see.

8. Maryland/Virginia- Since I grew up in Maryland and Pennsylvania, any opportunity to be near family would be perfect to me. That is one of the downfalls of going wherever the Army sends might be on the other side of the world, away from family.  I haven't lived on the east coast since 2007, so getting back there would be fabulous.

9. South Carolina - Since Fort Jackson is only a few hours from the beach and one of my relatives who lives in the Myrtle Beach area, this would be a good post.  Plus it is central to some places in the US that I have not had the chance to explore quite yet.

10. Tennessee - The actual post is located in Kentucky, but it's on the TN border and not to far from Nashville.  I am NOT a country fan, but this area of the USA is beautiful with it's mountains and lakes. I have driven through this area quite a bit when we lived in Texas and would drive back to Pennsylvania to visit family.

Needless to say, I have dreams, wishes and places I would like to live, but it's ultimately in God's hands where our next assignment will be.  Yes, I know, the Army cuts the orders but I believe that it is God who ordains our steps.  Are you trusting Him for your future?

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Random Facts

I will just jump in and post 10 randon facts about me.

1.  I attended both Catholic school and public school but I currently homeschool my children.

2.  I have a bachelor's degree in Pastoral Ministry.

3.  I took 5 years of Spanish classes through high school and college but really can’t speak it. Part of the reason is that I don’t use it regularly, the other reason is fear.

4.  My dad and I attended college together.  After he retired from a 20 year career in law enforcement, he went back to school.  We had one class together.

5.  I get a thrill from getting a good deal on things…especially something I need. I love saving money.  Since moving to Korea, I haven't been able to shop for deals like online is not the same.

6.  This past summer I celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary.  Unfortunately, it was the second anniversary in a row that my husband and I were not together on our special day.  The first year he was in Iraq and this year he was in Korea (the girls and I could not join him until he found housing).

7.  This year I joined Weight Watchers to lose some weight.  I must say that if you stick to the plan it works.  I lost 15 pounds in 10 weeks.  I hope to start back again and get a little more weight off. It's important to me to be healthy but it is hard to do with managing a home and family.

8.  We attended the same church for almost 12 years. For the first two years, my husband volunteered to lead worship and the youth.  He came on staff when I resigned as the secretary and worked as an associate pastor for 6 years.  He became the Senior Pastor and served in that position for 3 more years. We only left the church for my husband to pursue a call to Army Chaplaincy.

9.  I am both a pastor's wife and preacher's kid, though my dad did not become a pastor until I was in college.

10. God is still working on me.  Everyday I see myself magnified through my children's lives.  Sometimes it is encouraging, while other times it can be depressing.  I am glad that he is not finished with me yet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 Jobs I've Held

Today I'll share 10 jobs that I have held.  I'm not sure how interesting this will be, but I'll give it a shot.

Most of the jobs that I have held are nothing out of the ordianary.  I am kind of a plain Jane...non risk taker and the jobs I have had reflect that. You won't find me climbing the top of the Bay Bridge or singing on Broadway. I hope not to bore you too much.

1. Babysitter - As far as I can remember, I began babysitting around 12 years old.  I enjoyed being with kids and hoped to one day grow up and be a mom myself.  I babysit quite a bit up until the time that I turned 16 when I could get a "real job".  I also babysit during my college years to supplement my income.

2. McDonald's - My first "real" job. When I started this job, I was making minimum wage, $3.35 an hour.  I started out as a cashier but in a few months I was learning to be a crew trainer.  By the time I had been there a year, I was training to be a swing manager.  I was the only swing manager that couldn't officially count cash drawers because I was under 18 years old.

3. House Cleaner - I started cleaning houses with a friend when we were teenagers. Her mom would have extra work with her business, so we would pitch in and help out. While at college, I was on staff for housekeeping.  My main job was to clean the wing of guest suites the college kept for visitors.  Even after marriage and kids, I picked up a house or two to bring in extra income.

4. Office work for a Teen Missions Organization - I am really not sure what my title was at this job.  I did a variety of tasks at TWO (Teen World Outreach). I logged financial contributions, made phone calls, took care of filing and organizing.  This is the same organization with whom I took my missions trips to NYC, India and Puerto Rico.

5. Assistant Bookstore Manager - While finishing up my bachelor's degree, I was newly married and needing a job.  I heard that the college bookstore was hiring and I applied for the job. I worked with a great manager and we expanded the bookstore into many new areas (ice cream and fresh baked cookies).  Since this job was only for during the school year, I was laid off in May after graduation.

6. Receptionist - When I knew the bookstore position would be eliminated, I started looking for a new job through temp agencies.  I was interviewed for a temp to perm position at a medical software company outside of Philadelphia and I got the job.  I answered a multi-line phone system, assisted the human resources manager with her tasks and learned to do accounts receiveable.  I was only at this job for one year but the owner of the company told me that if I ever needed a job, I could work at any company he owned.  I took that as a great compliment.

7. Church Secretary - After my husband and I graduated college, we moved to Hanover, PA to help at my dad's church.  I came on staff as the church secretary.  I held this position for about a year and a half... until the birth of our first child.  After she was born, my goal was to be a stay at home mom.

8. Operating Room Scheduling Office -Even though I had hoped to be at stay-at-home mom, things got tight and health insurance was expensive, so I took a part-time job at the local hospital.  Since I worked 20 hours a week, I was elegible for health insurance.  I worked nights and my husband worked days pastoring at the church.  This worked for about 6 months until my husband and I got tired being two ships passing in the night.  We decided that no amount of extra money was worth sacrificing our marriage for.

9.  Billing Specialist - I did not want to work outside the home and God provided just what we needed.  I worked from home doing billing for an anesthesia office.  I started out working about 10 hours a week and then increased to 20 hours.  This job was a blessing from the Lord.  When my husband decided to resign from the church where he had been on staff for almost 12 years to pursue Army chaplaincy, the opportunity opened up for me to work full-time from home. 

10.  Mom - This by far is the hardest job I have ever had yet it's rewardis are great.  I became a mom 13 years ago when our first daughter was born.  Three years later, God blessed us with another daughter (she is now 10 years old).  It was a long time and I thought we were done having children, as we had been trying for 3 years.  Then we were blessed with another daughter (she will be 6 soon).  And then 21 months later, we recieved a surprise, another little girl.  She will be 4 years old in two weeks.  The job of being a mother takes courage, discipline and consistency........

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5: 22-23

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting to Know Me

Over the next few days, I will be posting 100 things about me.  Instead of throwing a bunch of random facts out there, I decided to break it down into more manageable bits of information.  I will be covering the following topics as I share 100 things about me you may or may not have known.

  1.  10 Places I've Been
  2. 10 Jobs I Have Held
  3. 10 Random Facts
  4. 10 Places I'd Like the Military to Take Us
  5. 10 Things I Enjoy
  6. 10 Things I Want to Do
  7. 10 Favorites
  8. 10 Things I Know
  9. 10 Favorite Books
  10. 10 Favorite Movies

Today I am going to start with the first one...
                                                     10 Places that I've Been
1.  NYC (New York City) -  At the age of 15, I spent 8 weeks in New York City doing missions work with NYSUM (New York School of Urban Ministry)  Our main ministry that summer was to travel throughout the city doing the drama "The Prodigal Son".  We made "Midnight Runs" where we would hand out sandwiches to the homeless at Grand Central Station and we helped a local church renovate an old building for their food pantry.

2. India -  I spent my next summer, at the age of 16, in India.  We were housed at an orphanage where we helped with whatever tasks that were needed, including but not limited to teaching, construction and cooking.  We also went into the local schools to sing and present drama skits.  

Streets of Calcutta

3. Ireland - It helps having a mom who is a travel agent.  I have been able to take two different trips with her and Ireland was my favorite.  We flew into Dublin and then boarded a coach bus.  We saw many different sites including Killarny, Kilkenny and Cork.  I had a fabulous time on this trip even though I got sick.

4. England - This was another trip that I took with my mom.  I had a wonderful time seeing all the sites
around London, England. We went to The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Stratford Upon Avon.
Since I can't find my album from this trip, I'll have to add it later.
5. Bermuda - For our wedding, we received a gift from my aunt, uncle and cousins.  It was a 4 day trip to Bermuda.  Even though the weekend that we arrived there was a strike by hospitality workers on the island, we still had a great time.
6. Germany - As a gift to my husband upon completion of his bachelor's degree, we took a trip to Germany to visit friends who were stationed there with NSA.  We invited another couple to join us.  We went to the salt mines in Saltzburg, drove through Garmish and visited Nieuwenstein Castle, along with many other famous sites.

7.  Mexico - My grandmother called me one day and asked if I would go on a missions trip with her to Mexico.  Of course I would!  That December, right after Christmas, we went to Laredo, Mexico and ministered in the squatter camps together.  It was a blessing to be able to go on a missions trip with my grandmother.

I miss you grandmom!

8. Puerto Rico -  My husband and I had not even been married for quite one year when the missions organization, that I took trips on when I was a teenager, called and asked us to lead a team to Puerto Rico.  God provided for everything to get us there and we went for 4 weeks to a boy's home outside Bayamon.

A missionary home that we were building.
9. Reykiavik, Iceland - On three of my trips overseas, we used Iceland Air because of the great price.  Each of those trips stopped over in Iceland, one of them for an overnight.  We were able to tour the hot springs on that trip.  It was a beautiful city.

I can't seem to find this album too. Will add pictures when I come across it.

10. South Korea - We are stationed here for the next two years.  We are trying to take in as many sights as we can during our tour here. Somedays, living in a foreign country is downright difficult and I want to go back to the states.  It is during those times that I try to have a positive outlook!  If you want to see pictures, check out my previous and upcoming posts ;)