Saturday, August 25, 2007

Family Day at Osan

Before we left Korea we had to make it down to Osan to check out the shopping. They say things are a bit cheaper there, so who could resist?!!

You've got to love Korea. Fred and I got a kick out of the shoe store there named "Athlete's Foot". My toes are itching just thinking about it!!

We got a little carried away with the souvenirs that we had to kick Lucy out of her stroller so we could carry all our stuff. Hey, where did she go? Has anyone seen Lucy???

Slings the thing....

Here's a picture of Lucy in her make-shift high chair. I guess they weren't kidding when they said necessity is the mother of invention.

A Day with SK

When I return to the states I will be teaching English to Koreans over the phone. My good friend Sara Potter introduced me to her boss whom I will be working with . He goes by SK. He is a very nice man and has been a pleasure to work with so far. We were able to spend the day with him not long ago. We went to a picnic on the military base and with our friends the Potters and SK. (below (left to right) SK, Sara Potter, Norman Potter, Fred, Melissa and Lucy.)

Later that night SK invited Sara and I and some of Sara's friends and family who were in town visiting to a traditional Korean performance. It was wonderful! I really enjoyed it. I wish I could have taken pictures, but they were prohibited and the ushers were watching us American tourists like hawks. Thanks to SK for a wonderful day.

Cute Lucy

Here's a couple of cute pictures of Lucy. Kathryn Tripp was kind enough to let us use her exersaucer for a couple of months before we left. Lucy loved it (as I'm sure you can tell by her faces).

Here's Lucy on July 4th all decked out in her red, white and blue. I'm sure Uncle Sam would be Proud.

In this picture Lucy is enjoying playing with a rubber spatula. She looks like I caught her in the act of doing something bad....

Everywhere But Forward

Lucy has been so close to crawling, but all she has managed to do is scoot herself into some awkward corners. Here's some cute pictures of her stuck under the couch. Fred's pants hanging over the edge make a great hat!

Higher Ground

Every Sunday Fred, Lucy and I would take a bus from our neighborhood in Yongsan about 20 minutes to where our Chapel is. Our meeting house is located up on a hill just next to a big tunnel. It's a hard walk up that hill every Sunday, but being able to be at church and feel the spirit there is so worth it.

I have often thought of our treck to church as metaphore to life. There is only so far in life we can go with the help of other (the bus). There comes a time when we have to face the hills in life and climb it with all our might, knowing that the reward at the top is all worth it. Personal sacrifice must be made and dedication displayed in order to really make it to higher ground. And much like our treck to church, I believe there will be good friends who you'll meet on the way up the hill who will make you want to be there even more.

May we all make the treck to higher ground.

Friday the 13th (OOooooHaaahahaha!!!)

Here's some pictures of Fred before and after his Tonsillectomy. He had been working with a doctor on his snoring and was going to have to get his tonsils out, but would have to wait months for an opening. Well, on Thursday July 12Th, Fred got a call at work asking if he would like to have his tonsils removed the next day. He said yes, and the rest is history. The surgery went well, but Fred had a really hard time coming out of the anesthesia and was sent to the ICU to be monitored over night. Things went fine and he was released the next day. Here's a picture of him and Lucy chillin' before he went in to surgery and one of Fred covered in tubes afterward.

Up and Over

One of the things I will miss about Korea is having an excuse to walk everywhere. Somedays I would give my right eye for a car, and others I'm glad for the exercise. I've discovered that the shortest route from my apartment to the military base is to go over an overpass which is about 3 stories high. I should have had someone take a picture of me huffing and puffing up the stairs holding Lucy in a carrier, a diaper bag, and a stroller just to prove that I did it. I decided against the picture because lets face it, no body looks good carrying 50 lbs. up 3 flights of stairs in the heat of monsoon season. (use your imagination) Instead I have included this lovely picute of Fred carrying Lucy down the stairs.

Lucy and the Giant Shrimp!!!!

As you might have noticed, I've been getting really into this blog thing. So much, that I look for anything that would make a great post. Well, here's a doosey for ya. I was walking down the street in down town Seoul, across the street from City Hall and out walk three GIANT Shrimps!!! Well, I couldn't let this picture pass by. So with my best hand signals, I motioned for the shrimps to come over and pose for a picture with Lucy. They were so nice to accommodate me. It's not every day you see three giant shrimp walking down the street... you would take a picture too.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seoul Searching

Before I dive into the inner depths of my soul, I must give credit for the title of this post to my dear friend Kelly who used "Seoul Searching" on her blog.

I have wanted to write a post about how my stay in Korea has effected my life. It's something I can easily talk about, but at the same time I have really struggled to write this post. There is so much to say I almost don't know where to begin. I remember when I went to visit Fred in Korea last July. While we were there I was introduced to Danielle Fowers, the Relief Society President of the branch ther, and who is also the wife of Doctor Rob (see earlier blog for details on Dr. Rob :o) We had such a good time with them at the temple and Danielle made me feel so welcome in the branch. I remember her trying to convince me to come over to stay and she kept telling me that I was needed there. That, along with several other experiences while I was there visiting lead us to re-evealuate our decision to live apart and do whatever it took to move to Korea. After that trip I returned home to Utah and "put my house in order" so I could move to Korea. It was a big leap of faith considering the circumstances at the time, but we felt it was what we needed to do. I obtained a visa on my own and purchased a one way ticket to Korea.

When I arrived in Korea I was taken in by the Tripp family whom I had only met once on my previous visit. They took me in as one of their own-- no questions asked-- and let me live with them for a month until Fred was able to get our housing situation worked out. Fred was able to get an exception to policy with the help of Art Mathisen who took it upon himself to walk our paperwork through the system. If it were not for him, we would probably still be waiting for it to get done. When we finally got a place of our own, Branch members stepped up and donated all kinds of household goods to furnish our apartment. There were many days when people would call out of the blue wondering if we needed anything. We felt so loved and humbled by their generosity. My wonderful visiting teacher Jackie Latin offered to throw me a baby shower which helped us get what we needed to prepare for Lucy's arrival. Our neighbors Matt and Tiffany Witt would offer to give us rides EVERYWHERE. Tiffany would always call to see if I needed to go to the store or just to see how I was doing. They even drove through a rain storm to pick my mom up from the airport when she came to visit. And the kindness goes on. These were just a few of the many blessings we received there.

Looking back on everything that has happened since then is a reminder to me that God does know us and and he uses other people to answer our prayers. Danielle Fowers felt that I was needed there. The truth is that I needed Korea in my life, not the other way around. I can't think about my time there without feeling a drive to become a more kind, more generous, more spiritual, more loving person. I am forever changed. From now on my soul will be spelled "Seoul".