Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Trick

The boy is learning new things every day!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More before and after

Thanks for your prayers.  Clark passed away early this morning, and is now at rest.  He will be buried in a Green Cemetery in Wake Forest, NC.....with services probably on Friday.  Green burial was Clark's passion, and a documentary will be coming out shortly chronicling his life, death, and burial.

I took a picture of us recently that reminded me of another picture from years ago.

Marshall and I, on a bus in Korea in 2007 BK (before kids)

Marshall and I (2011 AK- w/ Mav in a Beco!)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peace, my friend

Just in the past few days death has been on my mind.  I was reminded of one of my friends from teenage-hood, Trey, as it is the 12th Anniversary of his death.  The loss still stings when I think of how unfair it was, and I still see little reminders of him everywhere.

My grandmother is not doing well.  She has Alzheimer's, which is getting progressively worse just in the last few weeks.  She will not remember me if I ever see her again.  That's a BIG if....because she has had a series of strokes and is deteriorating rapidly.  I know that the life she is leading now is not easy, and one has to wonder how long she has to suffer.  Selfishly it makes me want to go home, but that wouldn't change anything.  I know that at 31 years old it is pretty remarkable to still have all four of my grandparents, so right now I'm trying to focus on happy memories of Grandmom O.

Last, just in the last 2 days my friend Clark, who is battling lymphoma, has had a major decline in health.  Clark and I played together in a few quartets, and were members of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra together (he played cello, I played violin) for about 5 years.  He has fought this battle with everything in his heart and soul, writing about it in his Caring Bridge journal.  As a doctor of psychiatry, his perspective on facing your own mortality is very intense.  After going round and round with his insurance companies over coverage, he received two bone marrow transplants, both auto and allo, and survived them both- but it seems that infections and lung damage will ultimately trump the cancer.  Within hours of my writing, he will be extubated, and hopefully peacefully pass on to God.

I think these things are compounding on me at the moment.  The news of one without the other would perhaps not make me feel so bad.  I know that death and loss are a part of every person on this Earth's journey, and it is SO hard on those of us left behind.  Part of my inner conflict right now is just that I chose to come here to Korea, and I left a lot of people (including my Grandmom) behind.  That's on me.  People say when you are having a hard time and don't know what to do, that just putting one foot in front of the other is the best you can do.  So I'm walking.

Clark, walk towards the light my a place where there is no suffering or pain.  This is a song we sang at Trey's funeral, and it is very special to a lot of people.

Peace, My Friend

We have come to know each other
We have come to love each other
We are more when we're together
Than we are when we're apart

Though the years may come between us
We must never fear the distance
We are one in God forever
In our minds and in our hearts

Peace, my friend
May the love of God go with you
May our Father guide your footsteps
May the sun shine every day

Peace my friend
May the Spirit walk beside you
May his Grace be warm within you
May you always find your way

When the time has come for leaving
And the words have all been spoken
When you know the door is open
As it always will remain

When the last goodbye has echoed
When the last tear has been shed
When we've said it all a hundred times
We'll say it once again

Peace my friend
May the love of God go with you
May our Father guide your footsteps
May the sun shine every day

Peace my friend 
May the Spirit walk beside you
May his Grace be warm within you
May you always find your way

May our Father guide your footsteps
May you always find your way

Monday, March 28, 2011

Answers for Lent

In a short moment of desperation I asked my facebook friends for questions that I could answer on my blog.  Not that I'm having trouble coming up with things to post about- oh certainly not. I've got nothing but time on my hands and tons of juicy stories to tell up in here.

The first person to respond was a lady named Lindsey, who I know from an online AF spouses support group, which I am no longer a part of.  She just relocated to our next base in Germany, and also has two young children- I'm looking forward to finally meeting her in person later this year!  Incidentally, the reason I am no longer a part of this group is- funnily enough- I defended John Edwards when someone (NOT Lindsey- someone else who most of the time drove me bat-$hit crazy) posted a National Enquirer article about how he was cheating on his wife and may have an illegitimate child.  This served as the proverbial camel-back-breaking-straw to me, and I told her to "grow the hell up" among other things.  I was simply tired of rumor and innuendo being used to spread gossip about whoever was the Republicans' enemy at the time.  I am friends with plenty of people who don't have the same political views that I have, and we manage to have mutual respect- with ease.  But this other person....let's just say they seemed to bring out the worst in me.  Lo and behold.....John Edwards in fact DID cheat on his wife AND had an illegitimate child, and may go down in history as being one of the biggest douchebags ever from NC- because he's certainly the first politician that ever happened to.  Open mouth, insert foot.  However, I stand by my posts- and my main beef with that whole situation was the fact that a tabloid was considered "News".  Realizing that I was putting way more time and concern into the board than I was getting out of it, I decided it was time to move on.  I've stayed in contact with those people I enjoyed, and haven't even looked back on the rest.  Onward and upward.  See- I told you I was full of juicy stories!

Now, to Lindsey's questions:
1.) Your favorite parts of being a military wife, the parts you don't like and why?
    I am thankful that my husband enjoys his job, and the security that it brings.  We are thrilled to get the opportunity to travel and see other places and cultures.  I could never have imagined how it would feel to instantly be a part of the "sorority" of military wives until I became one; it is just hard to explain.   Major plus- my husband looks really HOTT (that's a shout out to my Woodleaf cousin Stephen!  LOL!) in his dress blues.  :)   The main part that I don't like (so far) is that I will not really be able to have any kind of career as a military spouse.  As a teacher I will never obtain tenure in any school system, nor will I become vested in any retirement plan.  I love teaching, I miss it, and can't wait to get another teaching position as soon as I can.   Bonus answer:  My pet peeve- when people write Airforce- like it is oneword.  It is: Air space capital Force.  Air Force.  Not Airforce.  If your husband is in it, learn how to write it correctly.

2.)  What would you do if you won the lottery?
If we won the lottery we would invest enough of it to be able to live comfortably off the interest for the rest of our lives, and provide trusts for our children.  We would donate some of it to our favorite charities (among them Camp Kemo, Lutheran World Relief, Camp Agape, Team in Training, etc) and endow scholarships at a few favorite Universities.  After that we would probably pay off whatever debt our parents and siblings have to ensure they have comfortable lives, and fund higher education for our kids, and extended family members.  But, I honestly have no idea, because the idea of having that much money simply doesn't make sense to me.

3.)  Your answer to world peace?
I wish I knew.  I wish that there was enough peace and good in the world that militaries weren't necessary.  It seems that so much of what we do is defensive against other countries who may or may not act aggressively against us.  But to disarm and not be prepared would mean we would absolutely be overthrown and defeated.  I think one of the main proponents of peace is education.  I (perhaps blindly) believe that if we could just focus more effort on educating men and women around the world that we would spend less money and effort on fighting each other.  (Ahem- how many wars have been started by women??)  I do believe that unfortunately sometimes force is necessary, and that by using that force lives can ultimately be saved.  I understand why people want to exercise their right to own a gun, however I'm not comfortable having one in my home....and will never allow my children to "play" at violent games.  (This was mentioned at my PG book club last week, and I pretty much agree).  I've been told that now that I have a son, I will think differently in the future- I suppose only time will tell.  There is is nothing entertaining about war.  There is nothing exciting or thrilling about the suffering and dying of people, innocent or otherwise.  I never want my children to become so desensitized to it that they can play a video game where they are blasting the heads off of other people and don't think a second thought of it.  There are plenty of other things to entertain my children besides that.

4.) How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
Having only eaten a handful of tootsie pops in my life, I truly have no idea!  LOL!  I skip the pop part and just buy tootsie rolls.  :)

How's that!?  No pics of snotty noses or tales of poopmageddon 2011.  Stay tuned........

Sunday, March 27, 2011



Let me clarify- I never said I was going to blog anything remotely interesting or significant during Lent.....right?  My main goal is to get either a picture, writing, or both up in this space daily until Easter morning- and in many cases I may just slap up a picture of one or both of my kids and call it good.  Totally cheating- but totally acceptable in this instance (in my opinion).  My blog.  My rules.  LOL!

P.S. If anyone would like to tell me what this sign says, that would be great.  :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

He's a R.O.K. star

Mav has a way with the ladies......or ajummas.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trip to Seoul

We decided to take the train up to Seoul on a pretty cold and rainy day.  It was also a Sunday, and we should have known better- Sundays are the days that most Koreans have off of work.  We decided to head to the Coex mall, since I knew there was a big Aquarium there that Maddox would love to see.  We took a taxi to the train station, and took 3 trains into Seoul.  We only made one mistake, but corrected ourselves before getting on the wrong train.

Entrance to the mall.  This place is HUGE!  We walked a lot and only saw a small portion of it!

First stop (besides the bathroom)- the food court!  Lunch time!

This is Marshall's lunch: It's called Omurice.  Inside the omelet is some yummy rice, next to it is fried pork rolls on top of barbeque sauce.  I had never heard of Omurice before, it is an interesting concoction!

TONS of flats for sale.  This pic reminded me of my friend Reva, because she is always posting pics of her feet in cute shoes!  :)

This is a Wii play area.

Finally we made it to the Aquarium!

This picture doesn't do it justice- this place was packed.  I'm pretty sure half of Seoul decided to go to the  Aquarium that day.  See the space in this picture?  That was the most space we had during the whole trip- there were so many people around and in my personal space.  It was also very warm in there!

Mav was pretty happy in my Beco, just HOT!

Waiting our turn to see more fish.

This was a cute display of a fire extinguisher turned into an aquarium.

Do you wonder how the outside water looks like?


Maddox insists that her favorite part of the whole aquarium was the "frozen" crocodile.  I didn't see it, but she says there was a croc statue- maybe stuffed, or fake- I don't know.  We had a great time though, and could have spent much more time there, but my back and feet were so tired! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011


There is a downtown shopping area filled with vendors and shops.  We walked through to see what we could see.

Dried fish and nuts.

More dried seafood.  I wonder what they use it for?  Do they eat it like jerky?  Do they reconstitute it in water and cook it?  Is it for soup?

Dried red peppers of all shapes and sizes.


Inside the grocery store- Korean Spam.

We bought some of this because we love it so much in the restaurants, this is red pepper paste.  Look at the enormous jugs on the bottom!

Would you drink "Sweat"?

Maddox wants some cookies!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Carla is here!

Grandma is here for a 2 week visit!  Woot!  Maddox is in heaven and will hardly let Carla sit down.  Every time Carla starts to do something else Mdx says "Grandma, come in my room!  Sit down here!  Hold this!"  Etc, etc, etc.  It is so funny!  We've been keeping pretty busy and I'm trying to take a lot of pictures, but I only take 1 picture for every 5 that Carla takes.  :)

We went out for Peruvian food.  There are so many good restaurants in Songtan, and this was no exception!  Everyone loved their meal, and all of us ate for less than $50.

Marshall brought his toy Dragonlady (U-2), for Mdx to play with.

Us.  Maddox took this picture!

Then she wanted a picture with her brother, but didn't want to look at me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Up on the roof

We went up to the top of our building to see what we could see.   That's Mdx way down there.

The view of Songtan from our place.  Those fields below will be planted within a week a two, the farmers have been out doing lots of prep work pulling up rocks from the dirt, tilling, and fertilizing.

It's amazing that right next to our apartment building (filled with mostly Americans that I know of) is this little area of shanty houses, where the walls and parts of the roof seem to be built with left over construction materials scavenged from other places.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New game

Called: Let's make Mav laugh.  It's not hard, so therefore the game is pretty fun!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

An addition to the family

......actually additionS

Meet Winky and Blinky

Marshall found them outside, cage and all....someone was getting rid of them.  It was going to get very cold that night, so my soft-hearted husband brought them inside.  If you've ever had a 3 year old, you know that bringing them in the house meant that getting them OUT of the house would not be easy, so we are keeping them- for now.
Winky only has one eye.....Blinky has both eyes....neither have a tail.  Poor little mice.

What??  You can't see them?  That's because these are seriously SMALL mice.  Except for their poops, those are pretty big.  But I'm worried- if they ever escape we will never be able to find them because they are so tiny!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


A few things we've been up to recently:

Playing with friends at the Hospitality House

Helping Daddy with his homework

Brother and Sister playtime

Getting things down into the crib that we aren't supposed to have

Friday, March 18, 2011


Mashed up Banana!???   Yes please!

Aw man!!  NO THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What a difference a year makes!


Turned into this:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Way Back When-esday- March 2010

Just a reminder- I'm using Way Back When-esdays to catch up for everything we did last year when I wasn't blogging!  :)  It's not exactly one year ago, but pretty close.

Marshall won Outstanding Active Duty Intelligence Airman of the Year (this was when he was still a SrA) at the Squadron and the Group level, further solidifying his belief that he is "kind of a big deal".....yes he has said that!

We found out Marshall would be leaving for a few months TDY, so we went to a private ultrasound clinic to see if we could find out if Minimac was a girl or a boy, since he would miss the 20 week scan.  They said BOY, and they were right!  Maddox lost interest in the ultrasound after a few minutes and Marshall spent the rest of the time chasing her around the room.  Here they are in the lobby:

We walked around the neighborhood to test out the new stroller.

And soaked up attention as much as possible before Daddy left.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My little performer

This is a song Maddox learned from one of her Hi-5 dvds.  If you haven't heard of Hi-5, and you have a 3-4 year old little girl, you need to borrow one of their dvds from the library immediately!  It is a group of 5 people who sing/dance/do activities and some of their tunes are pretty catchy.  Unfortunately, they are no longer on tv and can only be found on dvd.  I have to ration the Hi-5 time here because otherwise we'd be watching it everyday, and I just can't take it!

I also need to point out that Mdx is wearing her new favorite dress.  We only have 4 dresses that are warm enough for her to wear this time of year (with long sleeve shirt and leggings underneath) you will see a lot of the same clothes over and over in our pictures and videos.  I'm trying to let her help choose what she wears, and she would wear this dress everyday if I would let her.  I don't even remember where we got it- I think it's a hand-me-down (the best kind of clothes!!).

"People dancing in the sun
flowers blooming waters run
birds with beautiful feathery wings
flying to the pharoah king...bum bum bum".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday party

We went to a sweet little 1 year old's Birthday party a few weeks ago at the bowling alley.

Balloons, cake, pizza, and party favors = happy kids!

Baby S opening some presents.

They let the kids help her.

Party hats were a hit.

Mdx bowled a whole game by herself.