Saturday, June 25, 2011


This past week has been all about reconnecting.  On Tuesday, I got together with three of my good friends from high school and their children at a local park.  Everyday this week I have taken my girls to VBS at the church where Angel and I were married.  And on Wednesday, I met up with my college roommate's parents, who were in Pennsylvania for a Car Show.

It has been over 18 years since I saw my college roommate, Pat and her family.  After she left school and moved back to South Carolina, we kept in touch for a few years.  I ended up switching colleges and getting married and somewhere in between we lost touch.  With the rise in social networking in the recent years, we were able to reconnect via Facebook.  It has been nice to see what path our lives have taken over the years.

Nicole and Pat at Elim  (1990)

One of my fond memories of her mom is the "Care Packages" that she would send to Pat and I while we were in college.  The donuts were always a hit and homemade for us with love!  Pat and I shared a lot of memories during our time at Elim.  It is always funny to look back at our big hair!  We had lots of laughs, especially during Study Time, shhh, don't tell the RA (resident assistant).  Ha, ha...I think she already knew.

After visiting the Extreme Makeover site, the girls and I were off to the Olive Garden to meet up with Pat's parents, Paul & Edith and two of their grandchildren.  We had a nice dinner and great time reconnecting after all these years.  I think everyone, from young to old enjoyed themselves and made some new friends.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Extreme Makeover: York County PA Edition

About a month ago, I heard a rumor that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was coming to York County PA, where I grew up.  The location of the York County build was not completely revealed until this past Sunday when the Keefer Family of Etters, PA was chosen.

Before we moved to Korea, it was a ritual in our family to watch Extreme Makeover every Sunday night.  For the past year, we have not been able to see the show due to being overseas but we still love watching it when we can.

I thought it would be fun to go on location where the build was being done and to see it in person.  So on Wednesday, after VBS, I packed the girls up and we headed north.  Red Mill Elementary School is the staging ground for getting people to and from the work site.   It was here that we boarded the Spectator bus to take us over.

Even though we did not see any famous people, it was a neat experience. While we were at the site, they were Tyveking the house and getting ready for siding.  We might even go back again tomorrow to check out the progress.

What shows do you like to watch as a family?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make New Friends, Keep the Old

On Tuesday, I got together with three old friends from high school...Kim, Kellie and Beth.  They all graduated in the same year but I was two years behind them.  Not only did we attend high school together but we went to the same church growing up.  Our plan was to grab the kids and head out to a park that was located in the middle of where we are all living.  We got a little mixed up as to where we were heading but eventually we ended up at the same park. 

Between the four of us, we have thirteen children.  We were minus one child, who was at camp but we had a great time.   The kids got along very well and the moms sat and talked for hours.  We had a great time catching up on where our lives have taken us over the last 20 years.

My oldest was content to sit with the adults so when it was picture time, we put her to work.  The posed picture with our hands on each other's shoulders is similar to one we took after a Homecoming or Prom in high school. I would have posted the old picture too but since we are in the states on vacation and my pictures are in Korea, we'll have to wait on that one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vacation Bible School

Today the girls and I went back to the church where Angel and I took our vows just over 17 years ago.  Not only were we married there but I attended Missionettes and Youth group when I was younger. . It brought back a lot of memories going back to Shrewsbury AG.  And I ran into a lot of people that I haven't seen in years.

The reason for going back to the church was for the girls to attend the Vacation Bible School program.  With our move to Korea last year, the girls have not had an opportunity to participate in church programs for kids and teens, as the chapels where we live do not have anything like that.  Marissa is signed up to be a helper, while the other three girls will be participating in the program itself.  I know they are all excited! 

During this week the girls will be heading back to Nazareth, where Jesus was a kid.  As always, Shrewsbury AG puts on quality programs and I am excited to see what the girls will learn this week.
Here is a sampling from Group Publishing's VBS program, Nazareth.

Will your family be participating in a VBS program this year? 

Does your church sponsor a VBS for your community? 

From the days when my husband pastored, I have seen great results of Vacation Bible School programs.  I pray that the lives of the children attending this week at Shrewsbury AG will be changed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My thoughts

Since we’ve been back in the states, everyone asks how we like Korea and my response has been, it’s ok.  The older girls are frequently asked, “Do you like Korea?” and their response usually is, “not really”.  I began to reflect on our responses.  Have I in some part been negative?  Am I influencing my children in a way that is not positive?  And then it hit me.

Angel had been home from his yearlong tour to Iraq for one month when he received orders to go to Korea.  His report date was only 90 days later.  And while we he had 30 days leave, as soon as we got back to Texas from our vacation, we were in full force to make an international move.  Appointments to be made, information to be searched, things to be sorted.  We did not have time to reintegrate our family from deployment.
To top it off, I had a miscarriage the week the packers and movers arrived.  The girls and I went to PA to visit family for a month before the big move and then we had to wait for my husband to find housing in Korea before we were able to join him, another month later.

Add to that the stress of a new culture, lifestyle, language and all that goes along with moving overseas.  By the time I was beginning to get comfortable, BAM….culture shock hit.  I struggled with living in Korea and only did what I needed to survive each day.  I stopped the routines that I had established before the move…baking fresh bread, exercising and doing things for personal growth.  I did not have the same support system in Korea that I had while in Texas, such as a strong FRG, chaplain spouses’ group and homeschooling neighbors.  I felt alone.
By this time North Korea was acting up and we did not know whether or not the next day or hour would mean we would be evacuated.  It was a trying time during the holidays.

I was counting down the days until my mom would arrive.  And while I had a wonderful time with my parents, I was wishing I was back in the states.  Angel and I had talked about whether or not the girls and I should return stateside and stay there for the remainder of his tour.  Every day I would go back and forth…it was a good idea, it was a bad idea.
At this point, we have decided that no matter how hard things may be in Korea, at least we will weather the storm together.  I am determined that when we move from Korea next Spring, that my response will not be, “it was OK”, but that I will be able  to sincerely say that we have really enjoyed our time there.

I hope our family reintegrates better during these next 10 months, then we had done the previous year.  I know that God is faithful.  I recognize that it’s the prayers of the body of Christ that gets me through the tough times.  BUT I am determining in my heart that I will THRIVE, not just survive the remainder of Angel’s tour in Korea.