Is it Bedtime yet?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Think warm thoughts.

It's been a while! Like usual.
Christmas has come and gone, and so has our lovely vacation to Boracay Island in the Philippines.

It was so beautiful. And warm. Hot even.

I'm trying to conjure up what that felt like as I sit wrapped in blankets on the couch. We are just now coming out of a super cold spell here in Korea. On Sunday morning, when we left for church, it was 1 degree outside with a wind chill of negative 12.

You can all admire our dedication for getting out there anyway, but the truth is that we were signed up to teach the Sunday school class for the kids and had no choice. We have been known to conduct a little home-church in our living room when weather or circumstances make me lazier than normal.  Josh prepares a lesson, I choose the worship songs off of you-tube, and we gather in our jammie-jam-jammerkins.

Is it normal to nickname pajamas?
I fear not.

Anyway, things started to warm up to above freezing today*, so I kicked the kids outside at the first opportunity.

Homeschooling with "indoor recess" and restless children can grate on one's nerves, as you might imagine.
I bribed them to stay out with hot chocolate, and indicated that I would be more generous with marshmallows the longer they stayed outside.

*To retain blogular accuracy, I should note that I wrote this post a couple of days ago, but didn't have time to upload pics until now.

One thing I've been grateful for during this cold streak is that our cars sleep in a garage that stays around 45-50 degrees. Without going outside we can get right into a car that doesn't need much warming up. It almost makes up for the fact that all the Korean drivers are always trying to kill me.

I realize that is a stereotype.

I stand by that statement.

Alex lost a couple of teeth a week or so ago, and as we were sneaking won under her pillow, I wondered what the Korean version of the tooth fairy is. In the US we have the fairy, in Spain there was a little mouse (Ratoncito Pérez), and in Korea...I don't know.

So I made up a version in my mind and it was a Little Guy in the shape of a garlic clove who drives around on a motorcycle cutting everyone off and trying to kill me.

Alright, I just googled it.
If we are to believe everything we read on the internet, then here is the answer to the mystery:

Children in Korea throw their tooth on the roof of their house and sing, “Blackbird, blackbird, my old tooth I give to you.  Bring me a new tooth.”

I do wonder about the veracity of that, as the great majority of people here seem to live in towering apartment buildings. Not sure how they get their teeth up to the roof.

We have officially passed the halfway point of our Korean assignment. Time flies, eh? We still have no idea of where we will be moving this summer, but should hear something in the next month or two. In the meantime, if Kim Jung Un would just chill out with all his toys it would make our lives a bit easier. Every time North Korea is in the news, you can know that the folks here are working ridiculous hours and things become annoying.

And now, without further delay, we shall all take in the beauty of Boracay Island.
Fact: I did not know that the islands of the Philippines were so gorgeous.
Fact: I would never have thought to travel there.
Fact: One of Josh's co-workers told us about Boracay and we said: "Okay."

We were treated to amazing sunsets every evening.

We ate lots of food. A meal for the 4 of us ran around 15-25 USD.

Derek really wanted to try a coconut. He didn't like it.

Surf was higher at this beach on the north side of the island, but the colors were still perfect.

View from the top

Our favorite activity was a sail on a paraw. (it's a double outrigger sailboat)

Nothing but net...between our butts and the sea.

The water-- I can't handle the color of the water.

I mean, is this a pool or the Pacific?

Fruit shakes. Every day. Twice a day. Or more.
There's a whole mango in there.

Breakfast in Paradise was included with our hotel. I want to eat there every day for the rest of my life. 
I must call your attention to the little huts on the right. Those are the massage tents. At night, the drapes are lowered, the fans blow a little breeze, and Josh and I got 5 massages. We had some included in our package, and the extras we felt obligated to throw in because where else will you find an hour long massage for under 10USD. 

Derek enjoying a Cookies-N-Cream crepe.

This is one way to enter or leave Spider House restaurant.

Riding in a trike taxi. It's like a motorcycle with a sidecar.

This was on the ferry over to the island. In order to get to the Philippines, we took 1) A city bus to Incheon Airport in Seoul, 2) a 4-hour flight to Manila, 3) a 1-hour flight to Caticlan, 4) a 3-minute van ride to the ferry port, 5) a 15-minute ferry to Boracay, 6) a 15-minute van ride to the hotel.
Worth it.

 Aaaaand, now I want to go back.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Bunch of Pictures

As the title would lead you to believe, this post has A Bunch of Pictures.
In very random order.
Let's dig in.

Here we have a photo of the four of us from last week at Josh's promotion ceremony. You may now all refer to me as Mrs. Lieutenant Colonel Schore. Because there is nothing more attractive than a military spouse who thinks she wears her husband's rank. (Read that last line with heavy sarcasm.)

Boo-yah. Pay Raise.

Also, I should probably make this less about me. I am very proud of my husband who can't possibly be old enough for this. He is a hard worker and wicked smaaht. More importantly, he is my favorite husband ever and a great daddy. 

Congrats, Joshie!

I mean, Lt Col Joshie.

Can you tell in that photo that the kids had already had some "Air Force cake"? Every cake ordered from the base commissary is obliged to have Air Force blue icing that stains the teeth and lips. It's tradition, I suppose.

Next in the list of random pictures, our Korean apartment.

This is our living room. We got a furnished apartment, so nothing is ours. Except the photos on the wall. We brought those along because canvases don't weigh much.

Kitchen. Pretty typical, except that I can't fit a cookie sheet into the oven. It is very small.

Alex's 8th bedroom of her life.

And Derek's 6th.

This is my washing machine. I come here to play "laundry roulette".

Koreans don't typically use dryers, but we were able to borrow one from the base. The venting system leaves a little to be desired, but it works.

There is a strip of shops & venders outside the main gate to the base.
Alex is quite fond of octopus, so that's what she's enjoying here.

This was from shortly after we'd arrived.

We took the kids to a dog café. Here, you can come in and play with dogs whilst drinking a coffee. They have many live-in dogs and patrons can also bring in their own pets.

They also have cat cafés, but Derek is really allergic to cats so I think we'll have to pass on that.

Along the same line, Korea is full of kids cafés, where you can bring your wild human creatures to blow off some steam. This is one we frequent which is walking distance from our apartment. We try to go once a week for a fun outing during the school day, because we practically have the place to ourselves. It's fun and cheap, as well-- only 3,000 won per kid per hour. (A little less than $3.00 an hour)

The kids have made friends with a family from our church that have a son and daughter Derek's and Alex's ages. They don't have many friends here, so we try to get them together whenever we can.

Derek just learned how to play chess, so here he is losing to his buddy.

I thought this was cute-- Derek and his friend Drew (they go back to Idaho when they were toddlers and then were neighbors last year in Alabama) are playing Battleship via FaceTime.

This is along the route to the base. Pretty typical of what our city looks like.

We did an egg-spiriment. This is what an egg looks like when its shell is dissolved in vinegar and then you soak it in colored water. It felt really weird.
Poor Derek dropped his, but at least we got to see that osmosis did happen-- the mess we cleaned up was the same green as his colored water.

We eat here a lot. It's a sushi place. Alex will eat some sushi with us, and Derek eats rice. He's a cheap date.

We took another trip up to Seoul to sightsee. This was from a palace there.

Eating street food-- these fried fish things were filled with something unrecognizable, but sweet-ish.

On da subway. That girl next to Josh nodded off onto his shoulder.

We had Thanksgiving with our friends, the Typolts. We were stationed together in Texas when our firstborns were babies, and then again last year in Alabama. It was a really nice Thanksgiving, very relaxing (probably because I didn't host).
This is what happens when I say I will bring dessert-- off to the bakery we went ;)

Thanksgiving morning surprise! The kids were thrilled. Josh took them out to play in the snow while I was busy in the kitchen preparing some side dishes. (One at a time-- tiny oven!)

Our funny Christmas tree :)

We didn't bring holiday decorations at all, as we had to watch our moving weight. But all of Josh's books from his course last year were able to be sent as "professional gear" which doesn't count against our allowance. So we made a book tree.

I think we'll always remember the year we had books for a tree :)

Our apartment has closed circuit cameras in the playgrounds, so I can watch the kids from the living room when they go out to play.

So there you have A Bunch of Pictures.

All is well here as we approach Christmas. It is proving to be a low-key holiday season, since we don't know many people. Low-key is good.
We are looking forward to a vacation in January. It should look something like this:

Yes, please!