What's on my mind.

I couldn't sleep again last night so I got up and started writing...

I was recently reminded of the fragility of life and how precious time with our loved ones is.  I admit that I still get jealous when I see two sisters together.  I want that again.  Luckily I have made many friends who are like my family.  I often feel guilty when I choose to indulge in my adventurous spirit and therefore sacrifice time with my family and friends.

I was reading a book with one of my kindergartners yesterday, and the story was about two sisters.  They did everything together.  At one point in the story, the younger sister decided to cut her own hair which resulted in the mom having to even up the lopsided cut into a very short boyish style.  The younger sister was very upset by this and always wanted to play princesses with long, flowing hair.  At this point, the older sister suggested that they use pantyhose on her head to create the illusion of a beautiful flowing mane.  This is, to the tee, what happened between my sister Natalie and I when we were growing up.  The only exception being that Natalie was the one that came up with the idea of putting stockings on her head after, if I remember correctly, more than one self inflicted barber disaster.  She was certainly a free spirit, that one.


Mom, I hope this doesn't upset you, because I know you said you were doing better.  It's actually both a happy feeling and a sad one, to reminisce like this.  Thank you for being a constant source of support and encouragement. I can feel your love even all the way over here in Korea <3

I love you Mom

Thank you Lord for all of the wonderful people you have placed in my life.  Please continue to guide us and keep us safe, and remind us of your everlasting love.  Amen~

 Deuteronomy 31:6
 6Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, He will not fail you or forsake you." 

Thinking of you <3


Happy Lunar New Year!

Well my Lunar New Year celebration started on Tuesday night after I got off work because I had Wed, Thurs, Fri off.  A bunch of my coworkers went out to dinner and you'll never guess what one of the side dishes was...

Silkworm larvae - one of the side dishes at the restaurant

Yep, those are bugs.  Silkworm larvae to be exact.  And I ate one.  I can't really describe how it tastes but I imagine it tastes similar to if you were to lick the inside of a really old, dusty closet...

mmm bundegi...
I tried not to think about the fact I was eating a bug...it didn't work.
I made Michelle try one too.
Michelle, enjoying a little protein...

After dinner, in true Korean style, we went for a little karaoke.  Michelle and I even did a few hip hop songs so we could show off our sweet dance skillz...fun was had by all :-)


Julie and Kevin singing a beautiful duet~
Rocking out to one of our karaoke songs =P

 The next day, after a nice talk with Becky and Vinod :), I took a bus to SaeRom's Aunt & Uncle's restaurant where we prepared a bunch of food for the New Year feast that would take place the next day.  I learned how to make several types of puchingae, as well as, how to make mandu, or dumplings.

SaeRom teaching me how to make Puchingae

We made A LOT of food...

Two different types of Puchingae

SaeRom's uncle and a friend
SaeHee showing me how to make Mandu (dumplings)

SaeRom: "Olivia, you're so good! You have to marry with a Korean man."

The finished product - yummy =P

The next day we went to SaeRom's grandmother's house to spend the holiday with the rest of her family.  They were all so kind and welcoming, even though I couldn't say anything except "Hello, how are you?" "Nice to meet you" and "Happy New Year!"

SaeRom's grandfather's name

The front of her grandmother's house

A large amoir

Her aunt and uncle's wedding photograph

Dessert was strawberries and traditional rice cakes

These things are addictive...

After eating tons of food, SaeRom's parents drove us over to a Buddhist temple near her grandmother's house that they used to frequent whenever they were dating.  It was really interesting, and we got in free because of the holiday!

One of the four gods that guard the entrance to the temple~

those eyes are pretty scary...

traditional Korean drum

SaeHee (SaeRom's cousin) being cute ^_^

SaeRom's mom & I

SaeHee & I


SaeHee and SaeRom

Then later we played a traditional Korean card game.  It took me a while to get the hang of it and I still don't know all the rules, but it's a really fun game!

SaeRom's younger brother

SaeHee and SaeRom's mom


SaeHee, SaeRom, and I spent the night at her grandmother's house and then drove back to her Aunt's the next day.  We found some coupons online for discounted tickets to Everland, an amusement park near their house.  The coupons were half off for a foreigner and those accompanying them, haha.  I was the golden ticket =)

At the entrance


SaeHee and I

SaeHee spun us so fast that I almost got sick in this flower...

Getting coffee and eating a churro, it was SO cold!
everyone has to ride the carousel, it's tradition~

I was able to skype with a bunch of my family on the West coast today, which made happy and sad at the same time.  Uncle Dave said I was getting homesick because I was so far away, and that was making it hard for me to feel the warmth of their love...well Uncle Dave, I feel a little warmer tonight after talking to you and the rest of the family.  Thank you for your kind words and your smiles ~ You are in my thoughts and prayers always <3

I also went grocery shopping today and bought more than I could carry...I ended up staggering home with a huge box, stopping several times on the way to rest.  I must have looked so ridiculous, haha.  My arms are really sore now.  I did say I wanted to start working out though, so this was my workout for today =P

And that concludes my first Lunar New Year holiday in Korea.  I'm missing home a lot, but I'm having a lot of wonderful experiences.  Please keep my family in your prayers as we remember the life of Shirley Brown and all of the laughter, smiles, and stories she shared with us~

Thinking of you all,

Miss Jones <3