Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Should Have Been

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3

My dad with his 9th grandchild

This week would have marked my due date with baby #5.  I have been filled with a variety of emotions.  I don't know why the pregnancy ended in miscarriage but I choose to trust God.  I think my children have had a harder time than I have.  One of the girls was very upset the other week.  She ran to her room and cried and yelled, "why did God have to take your baby?"  It was so hard to see the pain that she was experiencing...I just cried along with her.

From the attitudes that have been flying around our home, you would have thought that we brought home a new little one.  If you have expereinced bringing home a new baby with older siblings at home, you know what I am talking about.  The acting out, disobedience, anger and sometimes regression that I child expresses when a new little comes home.

Part of me wants to fill the void of the misscarriage with another child, while another part of me says, "I'm done having kids...I'm getting too old."  I know that people have children after 38 and I am not that old, it's just my emotions talking.  At this point, this area of my life is in God's hands anyway. 

I am a firstborn.

I am a perfectionist.

I am not OCD but I can be a control freak. like to be in control.

I want to have everything planned out, but from my experience, not everything in life goes as one plans. The Lord has been dealing with me lately in a lot of different areas. I am hoping that I embrace what He is teaching me so I don't have to go around that mountain again.  It's one thing to know God's Word, but it's another thing to live like you believe it.

I pray that I learn to live a life a faith, everyday trusting Him, even when I don't understand it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Covering Down

Every Tuesday, my husband teaches a Bible Study on post during the lunch hour.  Food is provided free of charge and all (soldiers, spouses, civilians-both US and Korean) are invited to attend. Periodically I have cooked something special for the Bible Study, but I normally do not attend. 

This week I was asked to cover down.  You might be wondering what that means.  Basically my husband had another committment which took presidence over his class today and he needed someone to take care of the study in his place.  So that someone happened to be me.

Since we homeschool some of our kids, I had to bring them along with me.  Knowing that I would not be able to sit and teach a class for 45 minutes without multiple interruptions from the little girls, I decided to do a video.  I chose a segment from Joyce Meyer's "The Battlefield of the Mind".  I think it was a good teaching but since most of those who attended the study today were Korean Nationals, not all of them understood the teaching.  I guess next time I need to think about my audience before I choose a video lesson.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homemade Monday

Monday is baking day in our's the day where I make all of our bread for the week.  I have been using a recipe from a friend of mine which makes about 5 loaves of bread.  It's pretty simple to do, as far as homemade bread goes.  I never thought I would be making my own bread from scratch, but it's not as hard as I thought it would.

I have ventured out to make tortillas and have even tried making English Muffins.  This week I gathered all the ingredients to make Cinnamon Raisin Bagels.  I had hoped to make them for breakfast, but with all the time required in prep, rise, cook and bake, we had them for an afternoon snack.  I had never made a bagel before, so I was a little nervous starting off.  I found the recipe on a blog.

Dough for Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

I followed the directions to the t except for the raisins...I only had one small and one tiny snack size box in my cupboard, so that is what I used.  Once they were cooled, we dug in.  The girls loved them.  I though they tasted good but hoped they had been thicker.  I shared some with the neighbors and they liked them too!  This recipe is definitely a keeper, though I would like to try some other recipes and see how they compare.

Resting before shaping

A few of the bagels after boiling

The final product...YUM!

Do you enjoy cooking?  Are you one to follow the recipe to a T or do you like to experiment?  Have you tried to cook something new lately?  If you haven' should.  You might end up finding a great recipe that you and your family can enjoy.  When I first got married over 16 years ago, I never would have done this...tried a new recipe.  I wish I had been a little more daring back then.  But there is no point dwelling on the past.  I just need to step out and try something new today.  Why don't you do the same!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Making Your Home a Haven: Week Four

Keep the candles burning, music playing, and continue the soft spoken words.  The challenge from Courtney at Women Living Well for this week is to add tender moments with your family. 

What does a tender moment look like?  Courtney gives a few suggestions such as...

Have a pillow party in the family room and get out every blanket and pillow in the house and be cozy with the kids or your hubby! Enjoy a cozy evening of hot cider and caramel corn. Give a 5 minute back rub to every single person in your house...and for a double challenge- try to give one every day to each family member!   Click here to read Courtney's post.

Without even reading about this challenge until later in the day, I had already started to add tender moments with my family.  It mainly happened because one of my little girls was not listening today.  I thought she might need some extra attention, so I went to her bedroom, where she was having a time out.  I told her to climb up in my lap and I held her, rocked her and sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her.

I'd like to say that I had a great response, but that was not true.  In fact, her sister came into the room and saw what I was doing and broke out in a tearful cry.  I think she was jealous because from across the room, she held up her hands for me to pick her up.

I hope to be able to meet each family member with this challenge and if I can do it daily, that would  even be better.  So this week, don't forget to take time out of your busy schedules to spend tender moments with those whom you care about the most.  Our days on this earth is not guaranteed, so make the most of every opportunity you have with those you love.  May they see Christ in you...for He is the hope of glory (Col 1:27).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When we get back to America....

That is what my almost four year old says everyday.  When we get back to America, can I have my trampoline again.  I really miss it. When we get back to America, can I have my ducks for the bath.  Why didn't we bring them?  When we get back to America....and the list goes on and on.  Each day, she thinks about something that we had while we lived in Texas that we don't have while living here in South Korea.  She can't wait to return the states to get the rest of her stuff or go to Aunt Sue's house again for the Easter egg hunt.  It's amazing and funny what she remembers and misses.

Since one of the things she is missing is the Easter egg hunt at Aunt Sue's house where she won the prize (an egg with $5.00), I am posting this picture from that day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Around Korea

On our way to Seoul

Here in Korea you see lots of different things strapped to motorcycles

An old structure in the middle of the city

Not sure what this is  made of ...kind of looks like a lego man

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Army Family Team Building

According to the Army Reserve Family Programs website.... Our mission is to educate and empower members of the military community to develop skills and encourage behaviors that strengthen self-reliance, promote retention, and enhance readiness.

Army Family Team Building is a series of training modules that are offered by the Army Community Services center at all Army posts. The topics covered in these modules include basic information about the Army, personal growth skills and leadership skills.  AFTB helps to improve both personal and family preparedness. 

My first exposure to these courses was when my husband was finishing up CHBOLC (Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course) and AFTB Level 1 was offered to the spouses of the soldiers graduating from Chaplain Basic.  It was a great course that gave me insight into Army lingo and life. 

After arriving at our first duty station, I decided to try the next level online.  You can find all levels of AFTB and many other classes at  Look under Family Programs and Services.  Choose the eLearning Center and then Online Courses. 

I wanted to learn as much as I could about this new life adventure that our family was embarking on that I actually took as many classes in that list as I could.  Most of them I took during my husband's deployment to Iraq.  After the kids were in bed, I would spend my time taking classes and learning from the comfort of my home.

Some classes are more fun in person and with a group, so check out the list of classes that are offered by your local ACS (Army Community Services) too.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Making your Home a Haven: Week Three

During week one we began by burning a candle and praying for peace in our homes.  During the second week, we added in listening to soothing music and striving for peaceful conversations and relationships within the home.  Now we are at Week Three.

This week's challenge from Courtney at Women Living Well is this:

List a few of the spots in your home that make you visually stressed because of all the clutter. Now go buy something for that spot - like a basket to put it all in! Work on cleaning up clutter. Throw things away. While you're at it - clean up some clutter in your spiritual life. What gets in the way of your peace spiritually?

Now on to the spiritual part - let's get down to business!

I John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

1. Pause here at your computer and answer this question...what sin have I not confessed?  Now confess it! That's all and be free!

All of us carry the stain of sin. Sin is something we all have in common. At any moment we may sin again...
Often times we let ourselves off the hook too easily. We justify our sin saying "I'm just discerning not judgemental. I'm just truthful not rude. I'm just sharing prayer requests not gossiping"

At this point in my life the clutter is not a problem.  I am doing well with keeping on top of my home.  I would hope this wouldn't be a problem considering that only two months ago our earthly possessions finally arrived here in Korea.

The second part of the challenge is what will be difficult for me.  I am a first born perfectionist...I don't like to be wrong and sometimes I have a hard time admitting when I am wrong.  BUT God is working on me in this area....along with many others.  I'm glad He hasn't given up on me, because somedays  I wonder about myself.

If you want to read about this challenge directly from Courtney's blog, click here.

You can do this...Make Your House a Haven that is.  Some days  it takes more work than others.  Sometimes you may wonder if it's worth it.  Let me tell you.. it is worth it.  The sacrifices that you are making, the time you are spending in prayer for your family, the self examination you are will all be worth it.  Your children will thank you, though maybe not today or even tomorrow.  When we seek God and His righteousness...all these things will be added to you.  (Matthew 6:33)

Be Blessed!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Emergency Preparedness

This past weekend, the American Red Cross at USAG Yongsan, was there to help families prepare for the worst.  They set up in the gymnasium and were ready to give out important emergency preparedness information and kits to the families who showed up. When I saw the advertisement a few weeks ago, I knew that we had to make the trip down to Seoul to get our kit.  It was filled with  lots of great stuff!

Emergency Preparedness Kit from the American Red Cross

Our kit contained over $150.00 worth of items.  I was excited about some of the items in the kit because they were needed for our NEO

Our kit contained the following items:
  • A Family Guide to First Aid and Emergency Preparedness
  • Emergency Water Supply Bag
  • Two Personal Safety Emergency Packs
  • Battery operated lantern
  • Emergency Preparedness Radio with USB Cell Phone Charger and Crank/Solar-Powered
  • Glow Red Light Stick
  • First Aid Kit
Thank you very much to the American Red Cross for providing these items for military families located here in Korea.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Smell in my Bathroom

For the last few days, I have noticed this smell in my bathroom. I couldn't seem to place it.  I had cleaned the toilet. Taken out the trash.  Washed the tub/shower.  Cleaned the sink.  Mopped the floor.  But for some reason, the smell still lingered.  I checked in cabinets, behind organizers, and underneath the sink...but nothing seemed to be the source of the smell.

This morning as I was having my quiet time, my husband came out of the bathroom with two of the baskets that I use to hold our hairbrushes, hair dryer and straightener.  From a distance and in the dim morning light, I thought I saw shaving cream on them.  But upon a closer inspection this is what I saw.

Can you see it?  It's fuzzy, white and green... It's mold.  Disgusting!  No wonder my allergies have been flaring up lately.  I need to tell my pre-teen and teenage daughters to not take such long hot showers in my bathroom. I have since throughly scrubbed the bathroom again and washed the floor mat, just in case that was a secondary cause of the foul odor in my bathroom.  Hopefully tomorrow, it will smell fresh and clean!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lotte World

Lotte World is the world's largest indoor theme park that is open all year long.  It is located here in the city of Seoul, South Korea.  In addition to the indoor park, there is also Magic Island, an artificial island in the middle of a lake that has more rides and events outside. It also has a Magic Castle...that looks like one you might find at Disney. Mr. John blessed our family with tickets and we were able to use them this past Monday on Columbus Day holiday.  Our family had a great time!

This is a ride that runs along the ceiling around the complex

The girls in front of the castle on Magic Island

Taken from the balloon ride at night

Marissa with the castle in the background

Lotte World from the outside

The Lotte complex here consists of the Lotte Hotel, Lotte World, Lotte Mall, Lotte Department Store, and Lotte Mart.  Inside this massive complex you will also find an indoor ice skating rink, a Korean folk museum and movie theatre. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Week Two- Making Your Home a Haven

Proverbs 15:1 says "A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger."

I am joining up with Courtney at Women Living Well for the month of October and the Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge.  Last week I went out and purchased a large candle to burn in my home each day.  My husband came home from work that first evening and he thought I was baking him an apple pie.  Sorry sweetie, no apple pie but I'm praying for you!

In addition to keeping the fires burning and praying for peace in the home, our challenge for this week is two-fold also: Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. Role model gentleness this week.

Courtney give some suggestions as to music choices, so if you want to read what she has to say, check out her post for this week's challenge.  Our family loves music!!  My husband was a worship leader in his former life (ha ha...he is actually still doing that now but that is not his main job as an Army Chaplain) so our home has always been filled with music.  My oldest daughter is taking both piano and flute lessons, the next one wants to learn to play the guitar and loves to sing and the younger two will play any instrument you give them. It's funny, before I read about this week's challenge, my five year old asked me for my ipod so she could listen to the music.
The second part of this week's challege is going to be .....well a challenge for me.  I have been a bit stressed lately and unfortunately when I get stressed, the louder I get.  I know that is why this month is going to be a growing time for me personally.  Here is what Courtney has to say on her blog about the second part of the challenge...
1. When you feel tempted to raise your voice, use a child's name in a snarl, furrow your brow into a scowl or speak rapidly in anger...purposely lower your voice to just above a whisper. Proverbs 15:1 says "A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger." Focus on gentle words, facial expressions, and touches.

2. Purpose to not let someone else's anger make you angry. Many times as a wife and mom I find myself responding to other's emotions. Someone in the family is grumpy and two minutes later I'm grumpy too. Someone in the family is speaking harshly and two minutes later I'm speaking harshly too. Purpose to stay in control of your emotions and not let the other members of your family dictate your mood.

3. Yelling at a bud won't make it bloom. Your home will not blossom into a haven if you are not controlling your temper.

4. Continue to pray for peace in your home. Persevere in prayer for your family. James 5:16b says, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Well, there is no better time than the present to get started.  One of my prayers for myself has always been...Lord help me to be slow to anger and slow to speak.  May your lives be changes by this challenge as I know that mine will too. Thank God that even when I am not faithful...He still is faithful!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I know what you are thinking....the Korean lottery.  Actually Lotteria is a Korean fast-food restaurant.  We have been here for a few months now and have never eaten at one.  But today that changed.  There is one in our neighborhood and since my husband was home for lunch today, we checked it out.

The first floor is where you order but the second floor is where most of the seating is located.  Since it was such a nice afternoon, we opted to eat outside.  Since we don't speak much Korean, we had to point at what we wanted.  We tried to find simple burgers and chicken strips.  We placed our order, paid and were handed a pager that would go off when our food was ready.  We weren't sure if we were getting drinks with our order or not because that never came up.

When the food arrived, some of it looked similar to what we are used to while other things were quite different.  The fries, mozzarella sticks and chicken strips looked like those from the states but the burgers were quite different.  One had mushrooms, cheese and broccoli (at least that's what I think it was) on it. Another one was dipped in a sauce and the third one looked like a regular double cheeseburger.  The taste of the burger was not the same as the US.  At first it reminded of the meat you get on a gyro but not quite.

I tried each of the burgers but none were really to my taste.  I took a bite of my daughter's chicken and boy was it spicy.  They must have soaked it in hot sauce before they cooked it because it was reddish in color when you bit into  it.

It was good to experience things from a different culture, but I don't think I'll be returning there anytime soon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trusting Him

This week marks the completion of our fourth month in Korea.  I'd love to say time is flying but at this point, I am feeling overwhelmed by living life overseas away from family and familiarity. I am looking ahead and thinking that there is no way that I can get through this tour.  I was so excited about an overseas tour but not being able to make plans to see family for the upcoming holidays is making me sad.  Plus I thought about the fact that if we went back the states to visit family, maybe I wouldn't want to come back.

When my husband was deployed last year, someone gave me a deployment countdown ticker in Excel.  I have since applied it to Korea and here is where things stand.

I Arrived in Korea 05 Jun 2010   I Leave Korea Around  29 Apr 2012 
Total Days 694.00

Time Spent in Korea
4.16 Months
17.83 Weeks
124.87 Days
2,996.84 Hours
179,810.59 Minutes
10,788,636 Seconds

Remaining Time in Korea
18.97 Months
81.30 Weeks
569.13 Days
13,659.16 Hours
819,549.41 Minutes
49,172,964 Seconds

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, maybe I can start to focus on being content and not just finishing my sentence here in Korea.  Maybe that is what I am to learn these next 18.97 months....contentment.  Well, it's probably one of  the many things that God wants to teach me.  The question I teachable?  or am I going  to act like one of my children in a fit of selfishness and kick and scream while yelling no, I don't want to do that.

I pray that I am teachable....humble....content....joyful...persevering...and many more of the characteristics that God wants to work in me.  Yes, Lord, in the midst of my discomfort, I will choose to trust You.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Where Does My Help Come From

I lift up my eyes to the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and your going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121 (NIV)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Our Drive to pictures

This evening our family headed down to Yongsan post, which is located in the city of Seoul.  Along the way we took some pictures.  I am not sure who took which pictures, but I am posting some of the better ones.


Homes built on a hill

A view across the river

Not sure what this is but it looks out of this world

One of the many bridges that crosses the Han River

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making Your Home a Haven: Week One

This month I am joining up with Courtney at Women Living Well for her Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge.  Each Monday during the month of October, she will be posting a challenge for us to complete during that week.  The challenge will include both a practical and spiritual tip that we can apply to our lives and our homes. 

Proverbs 14:1 says  "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."  We should strive to be the wise woman, who builds her house, because if the things we do, the way we speak or how we act does not build up our will tear it down.

This week's challenge for the week of October 4th - Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen - the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.

I don't know about you but I want my home to be a place of safety and security for my family.  I want them to enjoy being there and desire to spend time at home.  I pray that as we seek to Make Our Home a Haven, that everyone in our family will be blessed.

If you want to read Courtney's post for this week's challenge, click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Fail

Today I decided to try a new recipe and even though we all ate it, it didn't turn out like it was suppose to.

We love English Muffins and since I have been making all our breads and even tortillas, I thought I would give the English Muffin a try.  We use them to make Eggs Benedict, to eat for breakfast with jelly and sometimes for lunch with peanut butter on it.  I have had the recipe sitting out on my counter for a few weeks but never got around to making them...until today.

The directions were not difficult at all.  I mixed the ingredients together and then let the dough sit for an hour.  I came back to add the rest of the ingredients and roll out my muffins.  While they rested again, I made sure the kids were ready for the day  

My recipe stated to cook on a hot griddle.  So I heated up my cast iron and was ready to go. The only question I had at this point was how long to cook the English muffins.  The recipe I found online only stated to "good on a hot griddle."  At this point I began to smell something burning.  It was my pan must have been too hot.  I turned it down and flipped them over. I also consulted another recipe since the insides of my muffins didn't appear to be cooking but the outsides were getting dark.  The other recipe calls for baking them.  So I cranked up the oven and hoped that I could get the insides to cook after spending some time in the oven.

This is my final product.

They don't look horrible but there were no "nooks and crannies" in them.  I basically made a dense biscuit.  The girls ate them, so they couldn't have been that bad.  I have since researched some other recipes on the Internet and will try to make English Muffins again.