04 December 2008

Christmas trees!



A REAL Christmas tree!!! Our first, since we've been married. I find it slightly hilarious that we traveled all the way to Korea and ended up with a tree from Oregon... go figure.

Evan hung up the ornaments... on one branch. Which was touching the ground by the time he was finished.

I had the opportunity to help decorate a tree sponsored by the Osan Breastfeeding Support Group. It graced the entryway of the Officers Club for the month of December. Other groups like the 303rd Intel Squadron, and Vet Clinic decorated trees as well. Our tree was adorned with flesh-toned orbs, breastpads cut into snowflakes, necklaces, and a lovely star topper made from Medela bottles. We won third prize for our decorations!! yeah!

I made the kiddos their stockings this year- Evan's was made from solar system fabric (thanks, Nana Cheryl!), and Linny's was made from a dark blue flannel. We were blessed with many packages and presents from our friends and family. Evan posed for a quick picture Christmas morning, then tore into his stocking. I think he would have been happy with just the treats and books in his stocking- he opened those and seemed content. The thought of opening all the presents under the tree had been such a temptation for so long that he couldn't believe he was FINALLY going to get to open them!

We have been very fortunate and blessed to have a wonder-filled 2008, complete with the birth of our own little angel. :)


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27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Evan was delighted to lick a beater after I made whipping cream for the pecan pies. That's my boy!
This is a picture of Thanksgiving, round two. We had a squadron Thanksgiving on Thursday and this Saturday we celebrated with close friends we've met here at Osan. We borrowed a community room and Anna, Laura and I put together another Thanksgiving feast. Everyone at until they were sated to repletion, and the lieutenants took home the leftovers. We are very blessed to have a healthy family, a roof over our heads, and such good friends near by.

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26 November 2008

late November

Evan brought home a beautiful "tree" that he made at school. The students went for a walk around the school and church and picked up leaves to make their trees. The floppy or fragile leaves were laminated by the teacher, then mounted on stiff straws. Evan enjoyed taking the leaves out of the trunk and putting them back in again. Once the leaves started crumbling all over the kitchen, we bid the tree a fond adieu.
Going for a walk during the middle of November- all the Ginko trees were a gorgeous yellow. The wind was just starting to pick up and the leaves were blown all over the fields near our house. Very pretty.
So, the girl likes to suck on her two middle fingers- rock star style. These are the preferred fingers for keeping her busy, soothing or just having something to do.... and, then, after awhile I don't hear any more noises from the blanket- and, presto, she's asleep.
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24 November 2008

Yeah!

Yipee for the Green Bay Packers!
Yeah for Obama- quite the thing to see the President-elect on Korean TV.

And Evan loves finger painting... but washes his hands frequently to "keep them clean while I'm painting."
My two lovies playing in the morning sunshine- Linny is kicking like crazy but isn't quite coordinated enough to crawl yet, but she's very good at holding her head up and grabbing for tasty things.

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10 November 2008

fun with the kiddos

Lulu on the bed- sporting her squirrel outfit. Maybe someday she'll be an AGD legacy...
And Evan, being cuddly with sister-bear- the mosquitos had quite a feast on her while she was sleeping.

Cozy in her blankets and sucking her fingers... sweet girl. And my two munchkins after a bath- squeaky clean!
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Strength and Grace

For something to challenge your body and mind:

Yoga Journal - Yoga Home Practice - Strength and Grace

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04 November 2008

Political leanings...

I've added a new sidebar- it shows where corporations spend their political donations. I've downloaded it from goodguide.com. The donations start on the left (completely donating to the Democrats) and using the slide bar on the right, you can scroll down to see companies that donate to both parties, and eventually parties that donate completely to the GOP.

03 November 2008

A walk in the neighborhood

Yes, when I'm doing a little planting, and the sun is beating down on my neck, I think "Gee, I could use some shade..." Fear not, the resourceful Korean farmer has a solution! Lash an umbrella to your shovel! Perfect! Portable garden shade! Why didn't I think of that...

The munchkins in the stroller- Evan's bringing his necklace with us while we go on our walk. Linnea just sits back there and looks around while she chews on her hands and occasionally coos. As you can tell from the picture, it's been just wonderful weather here- this was taken the weekend before Halloween and the temp was in the mid 70s during the day. Loverly.

Beautiful persimmons growing on a tree in a courtyard. Just at the base of our hill. Does anyone know of any persimmon recipes? What do you do with them, besides just eating them?

"Construction" in Korea. Rip it down, make a huge mess, and figure out what to do with it after the fact... This is right at the corner of a secondary intersection between our house and the shopping strip. Amazing to see a house just ripped apart. Evan was quite impressed and a little scared of the pile of rubble.
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31 October 2008

My little Halloween critters


Yes, after much discussion, Evan was a lime-colored butterfly for Halloween. Not a Monarch, not blue, not pink... lime green. So, naturally, Linnea was a little caterpillar... We celebrated Halloween by trick-or-treating the apartments in the on-base housing high-rise. 10 floors of candy. Wow. We made it through 3 of them- Evan wanted to eat each morsel before moving on to the next doorway... we finally convinced him it was OK to save the candy in a bag so we could move a little quicker to the next candy cornucopia. He nibbled on some Chocolate Skittles (which were gross, in my opinion), a Babe Ruth and some psychedelic green and blue Twizzlers. We finished the night by chasing buddy Colin ALL over the place- have to burn off the candy somehow!
Colin's grandparents were visiting from Wisconsin and they offered to put the boys to bed so the parents could go out and have a little fun of our own- which we did! Linnea conked out by 8:30 and we headed out to meet up with the squadron pub crawl. After a few shots of glow-in-the-dark Soju, a couple Vodka tonics, a good game of darts with Laura and visiting six bars, we called it a night. It was fun to be "young" and out on the town again- I think it's been over 18 months since the last time Matt and I had a wild and crazy late night. I'm determined it won't be another 18 months until our next pub crawl... I hear there are some good Hashing clubs in Tucson...
Happy Halloween.

29 October 2008

Linny says "wow"

Evan is discussing the new batteries in the mobile- Linnea is her usually chatty self:

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24 October 2008

Good kids

Evan's nighttime ritual is finally something I look forward to, instead of the 3 hour battle it used to be. He finished dinner, we play soccer, take a bath with Lulu ("Sometimes sister need to take a little dip to get fresh, Mom. I think that stinky little gr-irl needs to take a bath with me"), brush teeth, watch our favorite 15-25 minutes of Cars, then hit the hay. Matt or I sing him a couple songs from an old hymnal we have (I can't wait for the Christmas songs!), then he dozes off while he watches his nightlight/projector on the wall. However... one night I found him, reading his book on constellations by the light of his night light- about 10 minutes later he was asleep, so I snapped a picture. Sweet boy.


We went to MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers- a Christian-sponsored group that promotes active parenting) and while I was participating in the "Mommy discussion", Evan was in playgroup and getting his face painted- with balloons and King- the blue racecar from Cars, for those of you who don't have a male toddler who's addicted to the movie. Evan is happily eating grits and sporting his facepaint.

Linnea is growing SO fast- She had her 4 month appointment last week. She's just at 14 lbs and 23". Tall for her age, but right at the 50th percentile for weight. She's not setting any records, like her brother was at this age. It's actually nice to have a baby that can wear 0-3 month clothes for longer than 5 weeks... In comparison, Evan was about 13lbs at TWO months old. As you can see, she's her happy, smily self. I love seeing her wake up in the morning- First she squawks for a bit, then rubs her eyes and tries on all her myriad of faces... finally realizes that there's a familiar face above her and she breaks into a huge grin and gurgling. She is a delight.

Evan is happy to hold Linnea and talk to her- he likes to rock in this little chair with her. I think she was, um, passing a little gas while I was taking the picture and Evan thought that was pretty darn funny.
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01 October 2008

Halloween fun at Everland

We ventured out to Everland yesterday- enjoying a lull in the crowds on a mild Tuesday afternoon. I was amazed to see so many school groups at the front gates. All the little kiddos were maybe 5-7 years old, in matching Burberry plaid outfits (of course!), being led by a single teacher. The kids were very good about staying in line and following their teacher. I can't imagine that anyone would even think of taking 20 American preschoolers to Disneyland for the day!

And I have to mention the Korean fashion- "What shall I wear for a day walking through an
Amusement Park? hmmm... Something practical, comfortable and cute? No, I think I'll go with the striped shirt, ruched overall capris (with one strap casually tossed aside), my bunny ears, and my favorite 4" vinyl yellow heels with the peep toe. Perfect."
You can't make this stuff up.
We met up with the McEwen's (Colin is Evan's chase partner) and did a few rides, then watched the Halloween parade... wow.

There are no words to express what we saw. The "bat fairy" did his little dance in front of the kids- not sure if they were impressed, or scared out of their minds.
Enjoy the video, which is a clip of the culmination of the parade... a crazy elaborate show with bears dressed like pumpkins chasing each other on Segways. Wild.
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Evan thought the music was a bit loud... but enjoyed the show anyway.

We also went to the flower garden- Evan leaned over the edge of the fountain, which was turned off and just smooth water, and no sooner had he stood up these huge jets of water turned on. He was a little startled- but quite happy with himself and his new superpower abilities to turn on fountains.



As the evening drew on, the pumpkin sculptures and big torches in the garden lit up. It was really cool. A cute picture of us, minus Evan, who was too busy chasing Colin to be bothered with our nonsense. So it goes.

Happy Halloween.
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27 September 2008

Korean/American Friendship Weekend


The main shopping area in town was decked out to celebrate the annual Korean/American Friendship weekend. We visited some of the shops and ate lunch downtown. Evan was quite delighted to find this plane in front of the baby clothes store- and luckily I had 500W to turn it on... what fun!
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Getting ready for lunch... one stall had a pig on a spit, if that doesn't ruin your appetite, maybe the next picture will...

Ladies cleaning purple cabbage, lettuce, green onions... and in the red basin with the hose leading to it- she is rinsing squid and hacking out their eyes with a knife. You don't see that everyday!


We went to Thailand Restaurant for lunch. Evan's satay arrived with bear-shaped rice. He declared "After Hwa-jangseel (Korean word for restroom... yes, we're potty training him in Korean so he can communicate at school... but that's another story) I'm going to eat it's nose" So he went to the bathroom- came back and ate its nose. Then proceeded to declare that he was going to eat its leg- so he did.
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20 September 2008

POW Remembrance Day




A-10s lined up for take-off, getting ready for the fly-by. They fly a fourship formation with one ship missing- in remembrance of the men and women that are missing or lost their lives as a POW/MIA.


A group of people congregated at the chapel for the short service in honor of American POWs. The service started with a prayer, a gun salute, then the A-10s flew overhead.

A description of one of the most poignant things that I've seen during our years in the military:

Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony

In remembrance of those still missing and those who suffered capture, a small table is set in remembrance of POW/MIA at all formal military dining events.

This table set for one is small... It symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.

The tablecloth is white... It symbolizes the purity of their intentions responding to their country's call to arms.

The single rose displayed in a vase... It reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.

The red ribbon... Tied on the vase, is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn by thousands who bear witness to their determination to demand proper accounting for our missing.

A slice of lemon... Is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.

There is salt... Upon the bread plate symbolic of family tears as they wait.

The glass is inverted... They cannot toast us today.

The chair is empty... They are not here.

Do not forsake them.

Pray for them and remember.


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05 September 2008

Bowling!


Evan is very demurely standing on the carpet while Matt bowls- so as not to get "bumped by the ball".
He is informing me that "this is Satur-en" on the carpet square. Of course.... "and Neptune is blue. It is very cold. Merc-ry is very hot and has deserts, we will have to wear shoes."
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check out Evan's bowling skills! He's almost as good as the guy in the lane next to us!