Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow Pictures

Here are just a bunch of pictures from last weekend when it snowed for 4 days straight. We would have accumulated more if it wouldn't have been so warm. It stopped on Monday and has now already melted pretty much completely. It has been really warm, it felt like Spring. Weird I know. We are sad it's already gone but we had fun while it lasted, and it is a wole lot nicer getting around on dry roads when you don't have a car.

That's me over on the left side of the picture riding my bike.Liji took this while we were riding home from work.


Out at the Air Base last Saturday.
Just the Perfect size icicle for me....
...to get Liji with:)


These are some cute little snowmen the Korean ward members kids made during their Primary. They only make snowmen using 2 balls here. None of the kids will believe me when I say that snowmen are just much bigger and better when using 3 snowballs.
Me again up there on the bike and Liji wanted a picture of a scooter out in the storm. They are hardcore.
Liji took some of his classes out to play in the snow at the end of their lessons. They sure had fun!





I had my students make some Christmas cards for their families. Here's some of them hard at work. They're pretty cute.

I finally got a picture with some of the older girls. We just don't understand why they are so camera shy but the kids around 14 and up are expecially shy about getting their picture taken. The only way I got this one was because they wanted to get a picture of me with them, so I said I would take one if I could get one too. They agreed, but as you can see the 2 sitting down next to me made sure they had their scarfs on so they could cover up half their faces.



video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Chritmas Time

I'm at work and my class got cancelled, so I'm just sitting here in the office and so I might as well write.
I am way behind this Christmas. I think it was because it took so long for me to actually feel like it was the holidays. I didn't really feel the holiday spirit until this last weekend, now I'm sad that Christmas is upon us and will soon be over. I have been enjoying doing fun Christmas activities with he students this week, but they are definately not as excited about Christmas as we are. They are in school clear up to Christmas Eve and Christmas really just isn't that big of a holiday. Most of the students will go to church on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I think the difference is the whole spirit of giving. They don't really exchange gifts on Christmas and no one goes out Christmas Caroling or makes treats to take to neighbors. Theres is just not that excitement and joy in the air that you feel in America around this time of year. This week it has been there for me. So now I'm worried because I have all these things that I want to do but no time to do them. We are having a Christmas party for the students at school Christmas Eve. Because of that (having to work) we won't be able to go to the Korean wards Christmas party which we are really bummed about, but it should be fun spending the evening with the students too. We will play some games and I am bringing some popcorn to eat while watching a movie. Hopefully it turns out well. Liji has said for 3 years now that he doesn't want any presents, so maybe I will just lesson my worries by doing just what he asks. But everytime he says that I should do what he wants I just have to reply so you didn't like gettin the DVD I made of your football games, or your new pair of pants or the many other things I have made for you. And he can only say "yes" he did like them. Well, I like to give him things he likes so what is so wrong with that. He sure seems happy about recieving them when they actually come, but I guess its good that he doesn't expect them. I'm in a dilemma here. Does Liji really want no gifts? Well I guess this year he has made sure that he didn't have to worry about me getting him something by stalking my every move. This whole month he has been with me 24/7. Of course if I want to go anywhere he wants to go and if I'm on the computer he is sitting right there next to me. It's definately made it hard to do anything sneaking. Sorry this is getting to be a pretty random post. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I LOVE this time of year.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Loving the Christmas Season!

It started snowing last Wednesday and has pretty much going at it since. Well did actually stop this afternoon, we'll see how long it lasts. Don't have time now to post all our snow pictures now but will do it soon. We have these flowers just outside our apartment building that are still hanging around. Just thought they were so pretty with the snow on them like that, and we wanted to share:)
Just thought I'd share how expensive snickers would be if we ever felt like splurging to have some American candy. That price below is in won, but that equals about $15 for this not very big bag of SNICKERS. YIKES!
I know this will sock many of you but these leggings that I am wearing were creatively made by Liji. So we said before how we found this place that has all these nice wool sweaters for only $2. So instead of going out and buying scarfs to wear while driving our scooter, we thought it would be warmer and cheaper to just buy a sweater and cut it up. Liii did is the one that carried this plan out and then will the left over arm sleeves he just sewed on some elastic at the top where he should would be if you were actually wearing the sweater and turned them into some leggings for me. I am not one to normally wear leggings but they're really nice to keep warm around the apartment and I wear them on Sundays under my skirt and I've actually even started wearing the under my jeans to keep warm. I haven't been brave enough to wear them on top of my pants yet, I don't know just not quite my style. Yes, I know he's practically a genius.

Here's our cute little Christmas set up for our apartment. Lucky for us the foreign teachers here before us left a tree and decorations boxed up in the closet so we didn't have to go out and buy anything to use for just one year. Really helpful in feeling more of the holiday season.
This last Wednesday night we went to the orphanage again and it was their Christmas party, so we got to watch all the kids get presents from Santa. They were sure excited and it was fun to be there with them. There were quite a few military members that came to it as well and brought the kids a lot of candy. Well this one lady, who obviously hadn't been to the orphanage before to know how wild and not shy these kids are, decided to give the kids some candy canes but instead of handing them individually to the kids she just held this brown bag open for them to choose a candy cane from. Nicely saying, her stash pretty much got attacked. The few kids that did get any candy canes took like 20 each(as many as they could fit in their hand, and her candy canes were gone in about a minute. It was so funny to watch her try and unsuccessfully pry some back out of the kids hands after she realized how many they were taking. I so wish that I would have been thinking fast enough to get this on film, but I didn't. It would have definately won some funny contest. We were laughing so hard! Gotta love these kids though:)


The kids decorating the Christmas tree set up at the Gunsan Ward building.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SNOW!!!!!

It has been snowing, snowing, snowing here. So gorgeous. I lived in Idaho for 6 years and I thought we got it bad there, but I have never seen this much snow coming down so consistantly from one storm. This morning was our 4 morning to wake up to it still snowing. We love it! It has definately made our travelling interesting though. We have been riding our bicycles through the storm and it really has been bad we just bundle up. And I thought it would be more slippery trying to ride the bike, but it really has been fun to be riding through the snow, not bad at all. I do love the snow though. We thought that we had got a lot of snow here in town but then yesterday we took the city bus to the Air Base which is about 5 miles out of the city and right on the coast of the yellow sea and they hav gotten about twice as much snow as us. It was so fun to be out there and trudge through the snow with our friends. We are headed to church now so I don't have time to post pictures, but hopefully will get some up soon. Miss everyone back home.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just very Random

Sorry I haven't put many pictures up lately. We are still having a great time and here are some random pictures from the last couple weeks.
Yesterday we were able to participate in the Jeonju Stake Music Festival. We sang 2 songs with the Gunsan Ward, both of course in Korean. Liji and I sill did pretty good considering we only had 2 practices.

Liji's been growing his beard back and the kids are always just so fascinated by it. So Cute to watch!
These two are such good kids. Sleeping on the way home from the Festival:)
Ah, this was our after Festival meal. Rice cake. I don't know if we have posted any pictures of this stuff before, but it is a very popular treat here. It's actually pretty good and this rice cake happens to be colored really pretty, it's not always like that.
This is Liji's wallet. Yes you might wonder why he still uses such a worn wallet instead of just getting a new one when wallets really aren't that expensive. Well this wallet has sentimental value to Liji because his brother brought this home for him from his mission in Brazil and he hasn't wanted to part with it since. Everytime Liji gets his wallet out here the Korean people are really curious as to why Liji has such a worn wallet, and they really seemed to be worried about that. I think they think we are poor or something because of that and we must not have the money to buy a new one. Well when Liji took our scooter in to get the oil changed this last week this happened as he took his wallet out to pay the lady. Then before he left she told him to hold on for a bit and she started scrumaging around in some drawers and then she came back and gave him a new wallet and 2 pairs of socks. What a great way example to look to as we start out the Christmas holidays:)
The new wallet and socks
Liji also woke up one morning this last week to a nice print of his ear on his hand.Yes, I know very exciting!
This last Tuesday Liji got off work early because a student wouldn't be coming, so he secretly did some shopping and then hid the food he bought. The next morning I woke up to a delicious breakfast served to me in bed. Wow, I am so LUCKY!!
This was one of the practices we had for the Music Festival.
The Bishops and Second Counslor's wives preparing a meal for our after church lunch.
2 Sundays ago was the Primary Program. Here they are practicing before the meetings started. They are all super tallented and super cute!
Yea, I don't think I need to say what I thought about this fish being displayed at E-Mart.
When we first got here we boiled all our drinking water, but then we found these spring fountains that they have set up at a few places around town. Now every couple of weeks we get to feel somewhat like the pioneers and take a trip to the well:)
When we were on our last trip to Seoul as we were trying to find the meeting place for our District Conference we took some wrong turns and ended up at this huge castle fortress with some event going on. We were in a rush as we were semi-lost, but we did get in a couple pictures before leaving.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thanksgiving

I know we haven’t written about Thanksgiving yet, so sorry about that. Liji has been studying to take this MAT test for entrance into grad school, so he has had the majority of the time on the computer the last little while. But he took the test on Saturday so I should have a bit more time now. Liji felt he did well on the test but we will have to let you know later. Now that he is finished with that and his application is in to Utah State. We should know about his acceptance about next month. Exciting! Please keep us in mind and in your prayers. We really like this program and hope that things work out. If they do we should be starting there next fall semester.
Now about Thanksgiving. Well the week of Thanksgiving it was really hard to feel like it was the holidays and that Thanksgiving would be in a few days, because there was nothing around us to make it feel like that time of year. I think we both felt really homesick that whole week. I don’t think I’ve ever had it that bad. I started tearing up just having a passing thought about my family at all. We did get a Thanksgiving meal at the Air Base the Sunday before; which was really nice and very good. Wednesday night we had the Elders over for dinner. Originally we had planned this to get a member who has been having doubts about the Gospel over as well so we could talk with him but he didn’t end up coming. We decided this would be our Thanksgiving Day instead of Thursday because on Wednesday we have a short day of work. It’s only from 2:30-6pm instead of 2-9pm. So Wednesday morning before work we worked hard to have a good meal prepared. Since we don’t have an oven we couldn’t do your traditional Thanksgiving meal so we had Fajitas instead. Liji made tortillas from scratch and I made fresh salsa. The only beans we could find were some beans in tomato juice; kind of like sweet beans or pork and beans but we wanted to do refried beans. So we still bought the cans and just drained all the juice and smashed them up. They turned out well except for the face that Liji put way too much garlic in them. The Elders came over about 7:30 and we had a really yummy meal, we even had sour cream that we had gotten from the Air Base. The Elders shared a wonderful message with us about Faith. Thursday morning Liji made us a delicious Thanksgiving breakfast of fruit in crepes. So yummy! Besides that we just had to work late into the night. I am so thankful to have a husband who loves to cook and has such a talent for it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Culture in Korea

So I don’t think that I have yet talked about some of the extreme differences that the youth here in korea face than what we had in America growing up. In Korea they have what they call Hagwans or Academies in English. We work at one of them that is specifically geared towards English. But it is not just English academies that our students go to outside of their regular public schooling. There is an innumerable amount of different sort of academies. Just to name a few that we have heard of would include a: Math Academy, Science Academy, History Academy, Korean Academy, Homework Academy, Study Academy, Art Academy, Piano Academy, Music Academy, Taekwondo Academy, and many more. Most of our students are in school pretty much all day. So our students are in school pretty much all day. When they are finished with their public school which goes way longer than our schools alone they then go to a number of different sorts of academies. All of this can get pretty expensive so it seems as though most of the adults are having to work very long ridiculous amount of hours to be able to provide the education for their children. I was thinking about this recently because Liji and I have shown a lot of pictures to our students now of us and our family back home doing a number of different activities. Well just the other day one of our higher level students told me that in Korea they don’t have the time to do all the stuff that we got to do. He just can’t believe all that we have done because for them he says they are always just working or studying. I think our students think kids in America just get to play all the time. Which comparatively I would say it’s true. But I am so thankful for the quality play time I have been able to get in, with my family and friends. These kids have Middle School finals coming up next week and their whole focus has been on this test for the last three weeks. The test has like eleven different subjects on it. Liji and I can’t believe that they are actually retaining much information because there is just so much that they are cramming in.
Koreans are also very conservative. We have a friend named sister Oh, who is 30 and living with her parents. She told us that part of the culture is that they can’t invite friends over to their house of the opposite sex unless they are like seriously dating; boyfriend/girlfriend. Otherwise it is just not proper. They also usually live at home unless they move to another city away from family for school or work. There is no just moving out because you’ve graduated from High School and your ready to live on your own, or with other roommates. It seems to be much safer here than America. They don’t have Gangs problems. A lot of men do seem to smoke and drink a lot but you don’t usually see the youth out doing this. Liji asked one of his classes of boys about what sort of crime that they knew of or what was the worst thing one of their friends had done, and the most he could get was one of the kids had a friend who had stole something before. So very low crime rate.
Also I was kind of surprised at first that I didn’t see a whole lot of my students coming in with their hair died at all, like to a lighter brown or something like that. But I found out why from the students when they told me that past Middle School you can only go to school if you have Black hair or ‘naturally’ Brown hair. I guess I wouldn’t be allowed inJ So we haven’t seen any of the teenagers going around with extreme hair styles, baggy pants hanging way down, or loads of earrings. It’s actually kind of nice that way.