Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

The other day I tried to post but something about cookies not being enabled, it would not let me proceed.  On Thursday we celebrated Victoria's 6th Birthday.  I can't believe she is growing up so fast.  When she was five, she was still such a little girl but now that she is six, it seems that she is becoming a big girl.  Since my husband was away for work on her birthday, we are celebrating over the weekend.

Victoria is my 3rd daughter.  She is full of wit and humor.  She gets things that I never would have imagined a five year old six year old would get.  She brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh almost every day.  I love her so much and I am thankful that God has blessed our family with her.

Victoria...Happy 6th Birthday!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Search is On

I am on a quest.  I am in search of a good recipe.  Not just any recipe, but a recipe that will be used as a staple in our home.  A bread recipe.  And it has to be a whole wheat bread recipe.

I had borrowed one from a friend and currently this is the one that I make each week.  It is a solid recipe and for the first day or so, it tastes good.  But I am looking for one that will last a little longer and still taste delicious.

Let me share my it with you.

3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup honey
4 tsp. salt
5 cups warm water
3 Tbsp. yeast
14-15 cups flour

Stir the first 5 ingredients together along with half of the flour. Then add the remaining cups of flour. The dough will probably get hard to stir. Put flour on your hands and start kneading the dough. You will have to add more flour to your hands and bread as you knead. After 6-8 minutes, or until the bread is no longer sticky, stop kneading and set it aside. (we usually cover the bowl with a towel to help it rise faster.) Once it has reached twice its height, divide it into five parts before placing them in buttered loaf pans. It bakes at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I usually cut this recipe in thirds since we usually don't go through 5 loaves that fast.  I have also cheated and use my bread machine to do the mixing and kneading.  I normally use Hard White but have also mixed Hard White and Hard Red for this recipe.

Do you make your own bread?  What is your favorite recipe?  Do you knead your dough by hand or in a mixer/bread maker?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Happy Child

Last Monday, Katelyn went to meet her friends at the school bus.  She walked her one friend home and then went over to the other friends house.  When she came home, she realized that her itouch was missing.  We searched the house.  We searched the path the she walked.  We went to the guardshack at both our apartment complex and the neighboring one.  No itouch.

I felt so bad for her.  She had saved all of her birthday money and then some to purchase this it all by herself.  She cried and cried.  We talked about the lessons one might learn and she told me that she did not want to learn any lessons.  I encouraged her to pray. 

A few days later, she told me that maybe she was suppose to learn something from this.  She was encouraged.  She decided that she would begin saving money toward a new itouch.  Her piggy bank already had $10.00 in it and she was determined.  She even found $5.00 while on a ski trip with her TaeKwonDo class.

Last night I received a call on my cell phone.  The caller asked if I spoke Korean.  I said no and the converstation was over.  A little while later the same number appeared on caller id.  The gentleman asked again if I spoke Korean.  I said no.  He told me that he didn't speak English.  Then he said itouch.  Could this really be happening?

I said yes, lost itouch.  I attempted to ask him where he lives and told him where I lived.  We live in the same apartment building.  He said...I bring tomorrow.  I did not want Katelyn to get her hopes up, so I did not tell her.  Since I was out for the evening, I called my husband and informed him of the phone call. 

When I got home for the evening, Katelyn ran up to me...her face was beaming.  She told me that a neighbor's wife found the itouch at the bus stop.  The found my phone number in the itouch and that is why they called.

I was encouraged for Katelyn.  God does answer prayers.  Even the little ones.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quail Eggs

While I am not very adventurous, my kids make up where I lack.  A friend of mine told me about quail eggs and when we went to the Korean grocery store the other day, I decided to pick some up.  They are small, speckled eggs that the kids thought were so cute.  We decided to boil them and try them that way.  The shell is a bit soft but they boiled up well and the girls loved them. They tasted just like a chicken eggs...just much smaller.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dongdaemun - Shoppers Heaven

Dongdaemun is Korea's largest retail and wholesale shopping district. It is comprised of 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops and 50,000 manufacturers.  Located within 10 city blocks, this area is home to silks and fabric, clothing, shoes, sporting goods, plumbing and electrical supplies, office supplies and much more.

Fabric building

The Market stays open from 10:30AM to 5:00 AM, with some stores staying open 24 hours a day.  Typically, you will find retail shopping during the day and wholesale shopping taking place during the middle of the night.

Dongdaemun means "Great East Gate".  It was named this because it was a major eastern gate of the wall of Seoul during the Josean Dynasty (1392 - 1897).

My first time in Dongdaemun, I went with friends to "check it out".  I must say, I was overwhelmed and we only went into three different buildings and did not hit every floor, let alone every story in those buildings.   From the picture above, you can see that the stores appear to go on forever.  In the older buildings, which are usually 2 or 3 stories, little shops are crammed in next to each other and the main walkways are usually very narrow and even crowded with merchandise waiting to be put out for sale.

The newer buildings are high-rises and are similar to a department stores though they consist of individually run stores.  They have wider walk ways and better lighting than the older buildings. 

If you ever come to Korea, you need to check out Dongdaemun.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Enhancing your Marriage

This year my husband and I will celebrate our 17th Wedding Anniversary.  We've come a long way baby!  With Valentine's Day approaching, I thought it would be a good time to post some of my favorite books, websites and such that will help enhance our marriages and love life.  There are so many resources out there, but I will only be listing the ones that I have read, used and would recommend. 

When my husband and I were married almost 17 years ago in South Central Pennsylvania there was so much that we did not know about life and marriage.  We have weathered some tough times along the way but I can honestly say our marriage is better and stronger today than it was when we were first in love.

Simply Romantic: Dates on a Dime
            This is a little book that gives great ideas of dates without spending lots of money.

Simply Romantic Nights: Igniting Passion in Your Marriage
            My husband and I bought this quite a few years ago.  It's not really a book but little cards for the man and for the woman.  Doing this post reminds me to dig it out and plan a special night for my man.  This is a great resource for getting out of your comfort zone and building intimacy in your marriage.

Sheet Music; Sex Begins in the Kitchen by Dr. Kevin Leman
            These two books are only a sampling of the many books Dr. Leman has written.  I have read most of his stuff and loved them all.

The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
            This is a great book for understanding how we give and receive love.  Gary Chapman has other great resources for marriage and family.  

His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
            We read this book during our first few years of marriage. It was used for a Couples Sunday School class in our church.

Love Talk Starters by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
                My husband and I used this while he was deployed to Iraq in 2009.  It is a book of questions to get conversation started.  Sometimes we are so busy with life that we forget to take time to get to know our spouses better.  Drs. Les and Leslie have a wealth of other books and information available to enhance your marriage.

Rekindling the Romance by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
            This book takes a look at issues in the marriage from both the man's and woman's perspective.


I have a few others that I have not finished but with what I have read so far, I would definitely recommend them.
 Love & Respect    by Emmerson Eggerichs
           Sacred Marriage   by Gary Thomas

The books I have listed are by far just a sampling of what is out there.  I probably have many more that I could recommend but since we couldn't bring all of our stuff to Korea, they are sitting in a storage unit in Texas.

Do you have any books or resources to enhance marriages that you would recommend?  What has helped your marriage grown?  

Let's encourage each other to pursue a deeper and more intimate marriage as we approach the holiday where we celebrate love, Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

blog blunder

I'm having problems with saving and posting right now.  lost what I typed.   hope to try again. later.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cup of Faith

My husband received this mug as a gift from my parents for Christmas, but I have since taken possession of it.  It is my morning cup of faith.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lunar New Year

While the United States is waiting to see if Punxatauny Phil sees his shadow, families in Korea were preparing to go back to the home towns of their parents and ancestors.  This past week was the celebration of the Lunar New Year here in Korea.  It is a three day celebration where individuals celebrate charye (차례).  It is during this time that a child goes before his parents and bows and a small gift of money is given.

Lunar New Year is also celebrated with eating traditional Rice Cake Soup.  It is the time of year when everyone turns a  year old.  Here in Korea, one does not have to wait until the date of their birth to turn a year older but this happens on the Lunar New Year.

We think traffic is busy during the holidays in the United States but it is nothing compared to here in Korea during the Lunar New Year.  We are advised not to travel down into Seoul because you can get stuck sitting in traffic for hours.  So we took the advice and just stayed home during the holiday time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prayer for Egypt

This post is not an original one from me.  I have copied a few facebook postings  and a letter from a friend with whom I went to college.  He is originally from Cairo, Egypt, though he currently lives in the United States.  He happens to be in Egypt with a ministry team. His parents still live in Egypt.  He has sent out the following letter and pictures.
Dear Friend,
I am currently in Cairo, Egypt with my family and with our ministry team.  As you have watched on the news reports, Cairo is in a crisis and it is utter chaos.  In fact, all of Egypt has been affected. I am asking you to pray for Egypt, for the Christian pastors and for the people in Egypt. 
As the police and military have been dealing with the massive groups of protestors, it has left our streets, our homes and the neighborhood shops without protection or security.  Although a curfew was instilled, vast amounts of people have defied the curfew. Without the local protection, area shops and stores have been attacked by looters and thieves. In fact in the neighborhood the local police station was torched and nearly every shop has been broken into.   
As I walked into to the streets, I saw the owner of the men's clothing store where I often buy shirts sitting on the curb weeping , as he had lost his entire inventory and life savings.  The store where we bought appliances for our apartment was completely cleaned out.  A mobile phone store emptied.   In Egypt, these small business owners do not have insurance to cover their losses. They feel broken, violated and robbed of the fruits of their labor and of their future.
Today the government announced that they cannot secure protection of the people.  Due to the exhausted efforts of the police and military, individuals are being forced to protect their own homes and shops.  Tenants of our apartment building and the entire neighborhood have begun to rally.  On every street corner, more than 50 men stand with sticks to fight away the thieves and looters that are attempting to enter buildings and homes.  Instead of staying alone inside apartments and facing intruders, individuals are creating a civilian army and human barriers.
The violence continues as our local Police station torched, Police cars, and trucks burned.  Looters are now entering the neighborhoods in stolen ambulances and police cars as disguise for further robbery.   It breaks my heart to see the lawlessness of people.  I have witnessed great violence and a lack of respect for humanity.  We are at a turning point for Egypt.  We need your prayers more than ever.  We need your help to reach out to those who are broken, hurting and in a state of hopelessness.  There is great fear in amongst the Christians at the size of the Islamic Brotherhood and their role in the Future of Egypt! 
Burned We know the only Hope is JESUS.  Pray that this will be an opportunity to extend the Gospel forth in Egypt.  We stand on the Scripture:  I John 4:4 "...You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."  My father, Rev. Samir, Connie and I want to ask you to pray for Egypt, for the Ministry of the Gospel, for Operation Serve, for our family.   

Prayer for Egypt:  
Lord we ask you to Block further violence and crime in Egypt that no more lives will be lost! Give us peace and order in Egypt. Lord, we appeal for your Hand to intervene and pray that Egypt will institute a democratic government and leadership to allow freedom and lift the Christian persecution. Lord, we ask you to turn the eyes of all people to you!  May Jesus be revealed your people, for you are our answer in the time of trouble.  Lord, we have Hope in you as the Author and Finisher of our faith!
Just posted on Facebook: 
A Worldwide Tow-Day Call for Prayer for the nation of Egypt
Thursday and Friday February 3 & 4, 2011     
Jesus escaped to Egypt for protection, now Egypt desperately needs Jesus’ protection. 
Thursday and Friday February 3 & 4, 2011, will be two pivotal days for Egypt’s future. Many government oppressors are calling for Friday to be “Departure Day,” for the president and to accomplish that they will form the biggest demonstration yet. Considering the fact that Wednesday’s violent clash between the president’s supporters and oppressors was the bloodiest day in Egypt yet. 
Please pray for:
1- A safe resolution to this crisis without further shedding blood and preserving the liberty of the people
2- Confusion and fear to be gone and hope to be restored to the people and
3- Jesus to be glorified and His Kingdom extended in this crisis
4- The church to be a light house during this time
...Please pass this e-mail on to as many believers as you can

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Skating

A few months ago, I had planned to do a post on our trip to the Uijeongbu Ice Rink but my video camera had a fatal HDD Error and everything on it was gone.  Thankfully I had purchased a service contract on the camera and I was able to mail it back to the states to have it repaired.  I am still hoping that they might be able to find what was recorded on the camera's hard drive and save it.  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, we took another trip to the Ice Rink and I used a my little camera to take a few pictures. It's a bit hard to take pictures when every few minutes or even seconds, you are picking a kid up from the ice.  The little girls had fun but they actually did better the first time we went.  This past week, the Korean schools were still on Winter Holiday so the rink was much more crowded then the first time we went skating.

Katelyn loves skating and just takes off on her own to practice her little hops and spins.  If she could, she would skate everyday.  She has even asked me to buy her a pair of skates.  I think I will wait awhile before I make this investment.

The cost is not too bad.  We paid 4500 Won for the children and 5500Won for the adults.  The price includes admission, skates and a helmet.  I am assuming that you can skate for as long as they are open.  We arrived around 1:00 PM and left a little before 4:00PM.  I should have someone who speaks Korean ask if they have a yearly pass!

The last time we went to the Ice Rink, a reporter from a military newspaper came along and took some pictures.  Breanna and I happen to make it to print.  Here is a link to the article, though I have no idea where the guy got that quote.  Definitely not from me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

China...Here We Come??

The countdown to my parents' arrival is Korea is gaining speed.  We are now at about 45 days until the girls get to see their grand mom.  One of our plans for their visit to Korea is to hop on over to China to see The Great Wall.  We have been looking up and pricing airline, hotel and excursions for the last month or so.  Today I logged on to hopefully do some purchasing  and was floored.  The airfare has increased by $200 per ticket.  Times that by 8 tickets and you see what I am talking about.

My plan right now is to look at some package deals that certain companies may be offering instead of doing our airfare and hotel separately.  I knew the price might go up a little bit the closer we got to our actual date but I did not expect this much of an increase.

I am hoping to find something that will work for all of us this week and to get it secured.  Even though my mom is a travel agent, she has not been to China before.  So if you are reading this and have ventured out to see The Great Wall or Ming Tombs, I will take any suggestions and advice you have.  I am running short on time and need to get something done sooner than later.