Thursday, September 30, 2010

One of those days...

My goal is to post everyday, but yesterday was just one of those days that I never got around to doing it. I had great plans for the day. Don't we all though. In the morning, my friend and I were going to head to another post for PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). We live about 30 minutes away, so we had to load up the kids and head out by 8:30AM to be there in time.

While I was checking the two younger girls into Watchcare, I received a call from the school. Kate had gone to the nurse's office with pain in/behind her ear. She wanted to let me know because if it persists, she should be taken to the Dr. The school would not administer any medication but I could bring some and give it to her myself if I wanted. At least we were on the same post as the school, so I thought I might do that after Ladies Bible Study.

We had a good morning at PWOC and afterwards a few of the ladies went out for lunch. During our conversation, a friend told me about a problem her child had with swelling behind the ear and how crucial it ended up being. Thinking about her story and the fact that Kate had expressed pain two days ago, I thought I should take her to the clinic.

Thankfully the only clinic for families in Area 1, is also located on the same post at PWOC and the school. Since the girls still needed their chicken pox booster, I pulled the two from school and headed to the clinic. This was around 1PM. I was told the next appointment they had available for Kate to be seen at the Urgent Care Clinic was at 5PM. I told them no thank you. I had been on post all morning and I was not waiting around to 5PM, I would treat her myself. I then inquired about the shot clinic for their booster shots and was told I needed an appt. Why should you need an appointment for a walk in clinic. UGH!

I decided that we had wasted our time and was going to leave when I was told that the Peds Dr. would squeeze her in and they could give the booster shots if we could wait 20 minutes. Well, we waited and 1 1/2 hours later we were finally finished.

Since I was at the post that had a photographer, I decided we might as well do passport photos for the girls' civilian passports. After getting a snack and gift for a friend's new baby, we arrived home a little before 5PM. With nothing planned for dinner, I took the girls outside to play and decided we would just throw something together to eat at 6PM.

Wow, where did my day go. After dinner, showers, and homework, I was exhausted and forgot all about posting. Have you ever had one of those days? It's great to have plans but sometimes plans get pushed aside and reality sets in. Life takes over. Those are the days that I am thankful for the body of friends, who encourage me and help me see the bigger picture. I am overwhelmed by His grace in the midst of my circumstances. I am blessed to serve a living God that loves and cares for me.

Hope your day was not as crazy as mine but remember... His grace is sufficient!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I broke my own rule

I don't know about you but I have my own set of rules for life. Some of these rules can be applied to parenting...such as do not discipline out of anger or when you are angry. While others have to do with husband and I make decisions together when the purchase of an item it more than $50.00. Some of our rules are written down...those mainly apply to how we should treat others, while others are just known.... This is the type of rule that I have broken.

I should know better...but I gave in anyway. I broke my own rule. What is my husband going to think of me? What are others going to say? Maybe they won't find out...unless of course they happen to read this blog.

This is what I did..... I went grocery shopping when I was hungry. But really, I couldn't help it.
We did storytime at the library and the girls wanted to finish their pictures, so we ran late. Then they had to find the books that they wanted to check out, so that took some more time. The next thing I knew, it was lunchtime (1200PM) and I hadn't eaten since 8:00AM and I was hungry. But I went to the Commissary anyway, we needed milk.

See grocery shopping while your hungry isn't the whole's what I bought, ate and then hid. They didn't have chocolate pop I was good there. The cookies were too expensive, so they were out the question. It was the last isle that killed me. Yes, you know what I am talking about don't you. It was the ice cream isle.

It was calling my name. I couldn't ignore it now could I? So I found something that I like that was on sale and put it in my cart. One little ice cream won't hurt me. I hid them from my younger girls who were shopping with me. I was able to sneak an ice cream and drive home. But we didn't get home yet and the ice cream were going to melt, so I had to have another.....and then another. I thought...they can't be more than 100 calories or so.

NOT. After eating a few (I will not confess all here) ice creams, I had to rip up the box and find a place to stash it. There was no way I was going to put it in the recycling at home. Someone would surely find out. So now, 640 calories later...I am feeling regret, shame and disappointment in myself. I should never have broken my rule of not to shop while I am hungry. I guess there is always next time...and hopefully I'll go with a full stomach, instead of an empty one.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Herb Island

We have decided that we will take every opportunity available to us to sightsee here in South Korea. Since my husband's duties as a chaplain require him to work every Sunday, our only opportunity to do this is on Saturdays. We have been making a list of places that are located within an hour or two of where we live that we would like to see. Herb Island has been at the top of that list but it seems that other things keep coming up and it has been over a month since we originally planned to go there.  But this weekend we made the trip there and we had a great time.
Creek at the bottom of the entrance to Herb Island

One of the many waterfalls

Breanna with Pooh of the girls took this one

View from up top the hill

Animals we saw

One of the girls took this one too!

Me & the three younger girls. The oldest doesn't want her picture taken.

Beautful waterfall and fountain

I'm not sure why it is called an Island...because is really is not one.  It is definitely herb filled and beautiful.  Since we went on a Saturday, it was extremely crowded.  They opened up a parking lot at the local primary school and we had to walk from there.  The cost is very reasonable.  Since we couldn't read the age for what prices, it appears to be 3000 won for teens and up and 2000 won for children.  In total we paid 15000 won for the six of us.

There are herbs, plants and flowers everywhere.  The girls went a little crazy with the cameras and we have over 200 pictures of everything they loved seeing.  There are lots of waterfalls, a small animal area with deer, rabbits, turkeys and chickens and a few different places where you can purchase food or snacks.  One of the things I noticed was the smell.  With all the different herbs growing, it was a very fragrant place.  The widely used bush that was planted at Herb Island had to the the Rosemary bush.  They were everywhere...walls and walls of them.

You definitely do a lot of walking, so make sure you are wearing your sneakers.  Even the little girls did great with all the hills and paths we went along.  They have a few stores at Herb Island also.  In one of them you can purchase plants or herbs for your garden.  It was here that I was able to get a small rosemary plant and lemon thyme. My two plants cost only 6000 won, which I think is a good deal.

If you are able to go to Herb Island, you want to take Route 3 past Camp Casey.  Look for signs for route 368.  Make a right here and follow this windy route for a few miles.  Herb Island will be on the left behind the Samjeong Primary School.
One of the many locations to pose for a picture.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love Dare...Deployment Style

Click here to buy the book

Today my girls asked if they could watch a movie.  I said sure...go ahead and pick one.  They ended up choosing Fireproof.  Since this movie came out, we have owned it and have watched it often.  Last year when my husband was deployed and I was missing him, I would pull out this movie, cuddle up on the sofa with my blanket & a cup of tea and watch it.

While our family is not in the midst of a deployment, many of my friends from our last post are getting ready to go through or are currently experiencing a deployment.  I have been watching their posts on facebook as they wait to hear from their loved one....have they arrived in Kuwait?  did they make it to their FOB (forward operating base) safely? 

Their posts reminded me of what my husband and I went through last year when he was deployed to Iraq.  Trying to stay in touch with each other. Keeping the marriage alive.  Parenting from a distance. Life and marriage can be hard enough but having to do it in the midst of being separated adds an even different dynamic.  But let me encourage you that there is hope.  There are so many ways to stay connected, even while separated. 

One of the ways that you can keep the flame going in a marriage facing deployment is the 40 Days of Deployment Dare  that is put out by the folks at  Check out their site, as they also post weekly devotionals.

If you haven't seen Fireproof yet, run out and buy or borrow a copy and watch it tonight.  I still cry as certain scenes in the movie unfold.  Yes, I can be sappy.  I think I've grown more so that way since my husband joined the Army and our family went through deployment .  I hope you take the time to check out the movie and if you are going through or in the middle of a deployment, check out the 40 Days of Deployment Dare.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Driving around Korea- Photos

Happy Chuseok

Today is Chuseok...or Korean Thanksgiving Day.  It is one of the biggest and most celebrated holidays in Korea.  It's a time when family members come from far and wide to celebrate together and give thanks to those who went before them (their ancestors). It is also a time of gift giving. 

Normally you see the women outside at the playground with their children...but for Chuseok, I saw the dads out there.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homeschool Fun

This year I am homeschooling the two younger girls, who are 5 1/2 and almost 4.  I am teaching them both from the same Kindergarten curriculum, My Father's World.  I hope that as Victoria learns to read, Breanna will pick up on it also.  Each week has a focus letter and word and this past week was the letter Ss...Sun.  They were suppose to paint a this perfectionist mommy did everything I could to make it less messy fingerpainting, with smocks and all.

Finger painting a sun

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

This post is a few hours too late for Korea time but back in the USA, it's still my daughter's birthday.  My second daughter is now 10 years old.  WOW...double digits...she is so excited!

We had a huge birthday party at our house last night.  We invited her friends and their families over for dinner.  I cooked up 6 pounds of taco meat, marinated 6 pounds of chicken for fajitas, along with rice and beans and chips & salsa.  Oh and don't forget the guacamole my husband made.  It was delish! We had about 36 people here last night to celebrate.  We ate, we talked, we sang...Karaoke that is.

When my husband was downrange last year, they did karaoke every week as a fun morale building thing with the soldiers on his FOB (Forward Operating Base). He enjoyed it and tried talking me into getting our own machine.  With redeployment, orders to Korea and  moving, it never happened.  So a few weeks ago we found a MagicSing on sale and we got it!

Karaoke at the birthday party
 I'm not sure who was singing here but everyone had a great time.  Some people avoided the mic like the plague while others took multiple turns.

I made all the food for the party myself and the biggest hit had to be the birthday cake.  I made a carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  There was none left, even though I had two other desserts.

Her daddy bringing her the cake as we sing

So my little girl is not so little anymore!  She is growing up way too fast.  Happy Birthday to you!! We love you and are blessed by your joy and enthusiasm for life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions

When we lived in Texas, my sister and I would talk almost everyday, but since our move to Korea, we are lucky if we get to talk once  a week.  That's a big change for me.  I miss my conversations with my little sis.  So the other morning I decided to call my sister back in the states and see how she and her family are doing.  Because of the time change (we are 13 hours apart), I need  to talk to her after 9:00PM (Korea time) or anytime after I wake up until 9:30 AM (my time).

I made the call at 8:20AM, hoping to reach her before she put her five kids to bed.  Of course it ended up being a night where she wanted to get everyone in bed early.  I told her she could call me back the next morning but she said NO...when do we get the chance to talk. We had a great time talking and 40 minutes later we ended our conversation.

BUT, during my time on the phone, my two little girls kept interupting.  I told them..."mommy is on the phone with aunt natalie...please don't interrupt."  Well that really didn't work...they were hungry.  Since my phone is corded and not a very long one at that, I  could not help get them breakfast.  I told them to grab a granola bar or a bowl of dry cereal.  The next thing I hear is the littlest one crying  because her sister had chips and she did  not. At that point, I told her...just get what you want.  I really didn't want to be bothered and if they were quiet for those few minutes that I was able to talk to my sister, I was ok with that.

Once I got off the phone  I check on the girls to see if they had gotten some breakfast.  To my surprise, they were eating chocolate pop tarts, doritos and a glass of milk. Ah yes, the breakfast of champions!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Funny Girls

My girls make me laugh!  They are cute, creative and sometimes just downright funny.  The other day, while I was doing laundry, they were exploring the laundry room. They ended up finding two pairs of kitchen gloves and were having a good  ole time with them.  I decided that as long as they weren't being destructive, what harm could it do.

The next thing I noticed was this....

They were being so funny and gave me a good laugh.  You need that sometimes you know....a good  laugh.  When is the last time you had a good laugh?  Can't remember?  Well, stop all the busy work and take some time to be funny with your kids.  You won't regret it!

Proverbs 17:22  A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Military Wives are Made of

Recently this story has been making it's way around facebook. I'm not really sure who the author is, as one was never included on any of the forwards and shared posts that I have read.  But as I sat here this morning, living in South Korea, over 7,000 miles away from my family, it hit me and I just had to share it.  We have only been in the military for just over 3 years now, but this story very much rings true with me.

This picture was taken the night my husband returned from Iraq

It was just another harried Wednesday afternoon trip to the commissary (grocery store on military bases). My husband was off teaching young men to fly. My daughters were going about their daily activities knowing I would return to them at the appointed time, bearing, among other things, their favorite fruit snacks, frozen pizza, and all the little extras that never had to be written down on a grocery list. My grocery list, by the way, was in my 16-month-old daughter's mouth, and I was lamenting the fact that the next four aisles of needed items would wait while extracting the last of my list from my daughter's mouth, when I nearly ran over an old man.

This man clearly had no appreciation for the fact that I had 45 minutes left to finish the grocery shopping, pick up my 4-year old from tumbling class, and get to school, where my 12-year-old and her carpool mates would be waiting.

I knew men didn't belong in a commissary, and this old guy was no exception. He stood in front of the soap selection staring blankly, as if he'd never had to choose a bar of soap in his life. I was ready to bark an order at him when I realized there was a tear on his face.

Instantly, this grocery aisle roadblock transformed into a human..."Can I help you find something?" I asked. He hesitated, and then told me he was looking for soap.

"Any one in particular?" I continued.

"Well, I'm trying to find my wife's brand of soap." I started to loan him my cell phone to call her when he said, "She died a year ago, and I just want to smell her again."

Chills ran down my spine. I don't think the 22,000-pound Mother of all Bombs could have had the same impact. As tears welled up in my eyes, my half-eaten grocery list didn't seem so important. Neither did fruit snacks or frozen pizza.

I spent the remainder of my time in the commissary that day listening to a man tell the story of how important his wife was to him -- how she took care of their children while he served our country. A retired, decorated World War II pilot who flew missions to protect Americans still needed the protection of a woman who served him at home.

My life was forever changed that day. Every time my husband works too late or leaves before the crack of dawn, I try to remember the sense of importance I felt that day in the commissary.

Some times the monotony of laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, and taxi driving leaves military wives feeling empty -- the kind of emptiness that is rarely fulfilled when our husbands come home and don't want to or can't talk about work.

We need to be reminded, at times; of the important role we fill for our family and for our country. Over the years, I've talked a lot about military special they are and the price they pay for freedom too. The funny thing is; most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other spouses. They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence of what love truly is. Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself...

Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.

Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms.

Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.

Other spouses say goodbye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or a year, or longer. They are lonely, but will survive.

Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for having the hose reconnected. Military spouses have to cut the water off and fix it themselves.

Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying "goodbye" to friends made the last two years.

Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city...again.

Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events...birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.

Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.

Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.

The television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it touches other spouses. The card simply says, "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today." A military spouse is the lady with the card, and the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.

I would NEVER say military spouses are better than other spouses. But I will say there is a difference. I will say, without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands and wives.

Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having to live without them.

God bless our military spouses for all they freely give

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 100

Today marks my 100th day in Korea.  I don't have anything special planned for this occasion.  I can't believe how time is flying but I am glad time is flying.  Don't get me wrong...I really like Korea and I am enjoying this experience that our family is able to have, I just don't like being so far away from my family for this long. If we were living near my parents and sister, we would get together to celebrate birthdays and holidays and sometime just hang out because we like to be together.  I have also been missing the almost daily phone calls that I would have with my sister when we lived in the states.

Now that school started I am trying to get into a routine.  The first two weeks were a bit crazy with the typhoon (no school) and Labor Day (no school again), but this week is suppose to be a full week of classes.  That is until next week, which is Chusok.  It has been explained to me as the Korean version of Thanksgiving but it is a three day celebration and during this holiday everyone migrates back home to celebrate with their family.  So again, the girls will not have a full day of school next week.

But I am trying to get into a good routine with the younger girls.  I am homeschooling Victoria and Breanna together for Kindergarten, even though Breanna is just about to turn only 4 years old.  We are using a new curriculum this year, My Father's World, and so far they are enjoying it.  Tuesdays are Story Time at the library and even though we were the only ones there the other week, we will continue to attend and have even invited friends to go with us.

Angel is busy with his job as the chaplain for his unit and also the only chaplain on Camp Stanley.  This means he is responsible for the Sunday Protestant service each week, in which he not only preaches but leads the worship too.  In an effort to attract families to the chapel, we have begun a Children's Church program for those who are potty trained through 7 years old. It is nice to see families starting to attend.

Angel has started to take a TaeKwonDo class that is offered at the local post in the evenings.  His goal is to attend 3 times a week, in addition to his regular PT (physical training) that is done with the Army.  I have decided to start back on weight watchers and I am in the process of trying to find a regular workout routine that will work in my schedule.  Hopefully by the time we leave Korea, we will be fit and healthy.

So in the light of our time that we have already been here, we have accomplished 1/7 of the time that Angel is assigned to be here.  Seems like we have hardly made a dent in it but I am sure that the next time I reflect back, we will be getting closer to finishing his tour.  I hope that we can get in all the sights we want to see in the next 600 days or so.  Have a great day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Whole Wheat-Buttermilk Waffles

Usually on Saturday mornings, we make a bigger breakfast for the family than we normally do during the week.  I found this recipe in my latest Weight Watchers Magazine and decided to try it out.  I would have loved to have shared a picture with you but my waffles did not look very pretty.  They tasted good though!

Whole Wheat-Buttermilk Waffles
Prep 10 mins Cook 30 mins Serves 8


1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup fat free egg substitute
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.

2.Mix whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, egg substitute, brown sugar, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth, Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined (mixture will be lumpy).

3.When waffle iron is hot ladle 1/2 cup batter onto surface until golden (3-5 mins). Repeat with remaining batter to make a total of 8 waffles.

4.When waffles are cooled, divide between 2 large zip - close plastic freezer bags. Squeeze out air to seal bags. Freeze up to one month. To serve, transfer 1 frozen waffle to rack in preheated 350 degree oven or toaster oven. Bake until heated through, about 5 mins.

Per serving- (1 waffle w/o syrup) 170 cal, 3g fat, 3g fiber, Points Value 3

Weight Watchers Magazine September/ October 2010 page 78

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Under Construction

I am in the middle of adding some updates to my blog. I had hoped to have this done already, but with the end of summer, the beginning of school and all the other changes going on in our  lives...I just haven't had this at the top of my  To Do List.  But, do not fear..I am working on this and hope to be done soon.  So if you see any words that are misspelled, I hope to get to them soon.  Keep coming back, I should have this thing updated and finished in no time.

The Power

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just a love

I am reading through the chapter a day.  It has taken me longer than it should because some days I do a separate devotional reading and don't get  to the chapter a kids interrupt me.  But today, I was again reminded to love.  Do I show patience to my children?  Am I kind in the way I speak to them and others?  Have I boasted this week about myself?  Was I just rude to the person who offended me? What am I trying to get out of this relationship?  Why am I so quickly angered?  Who is counting anyways?  Am I happy that something bad  happened to those people?  Am I protecting my girls?  Do I trust my husband?  Am I hopefully about my future?  Do I give up too easy?

...And now I will show you the most excellent way.

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Taken from the New International Version Bible
1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

McD's in Korea

With the holiday weekend, my husband had some time off from work and we were able to do some thing as a family.  We heard that there was a free standing McDonald's with a playplace not to far from our apartment, so we took the three younger girls on our trip to Pocheon.  They were so excited when they recognized the restaurant. 

We went inside so they could play for awhile. The cashier spoke no English but had a little menu that we could point at what we wanted to order. In Korea, Happy Meals come with a choice of french fries or a side of corn. I'm not sure if the corn was cold or hot corn since our crew wanted the fries.  The food tasted like much of what I had remembered eating back in the states (though I did not eat McD's very much since my fast food restaurant of choice is Chick FilA ).  We even ordered dessert...a small cone for 500 won...or about 45 cents.

The girls were excited to see something familiar and play at an indoor play place, which they haven't done since we left the states in June. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tropical Storm Malou

On the heels of the typhoon that hit South Korea last week, we are now expecting a Tropical Storm.  Initially this storm was tracking to hit the Seoul area again, but appears to have shifted a bit south, so we may not get as much rain and wind as we thought.  I'm not sure if these storms are normal for this time of the year, but these storms are following the end of monsoon season here in Korea. 

Friday, September 3, 2010


WARNING: You may not like what you see!!!

The other day, our family was heading down to Seoul to meet up with some friends.  Our drive took us through town and we came upon a truck with a large amount of of dogs/puppies riding in the back of it.  Unfortunately, they were shoved into what appeared to be rope cages.  I am not sure where these poor animals were heading...I can only imagine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Typhoon Kompasu

We are getting ready to be hit by Typhoon Kompasu here in Korea.  By the time it makes landfall, it should only be a Tropical Storm.  Here is the tracking of the storm.