Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Korea

Ready for the holidays.  Simple.  Cause I've got nothing else.
Another make-shift Christmas tree.  This one is actually alive though, as oppsed to last Christmas (view here).
I had to use stakes to hold up the three ornaments in the tree.
Aaron and I played the special role of Mary and Joseph for our branch nativity.
Fooled ya - there is no baby Jesus, or any baby at all, in that blanket I'm holding.
But it was a very special evening.  And I was so happy to share it with my love.
Baking mini loaf for the soldiers.  Banana Bread and Double Chocolate flavor.
Aaron was so excited to package the loafs with a spritz cookie.  His grandma's recipe.

His Christmas tradition - Monopoly.
And he schooled me.  Old Mr. Potter takes the whole town.
Christmas morning.  Boots sub as stockings.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Korean Hooptie

Many Americans drive around beater cars while stationed in Korea for one-three years.  This is ours. 

It is a 1998(!!!) Hyundai Avante.  He is a manual.  He has a broken radio, a nearly dead battery, a missing visor (luckily I switched the passenger visor with the missing driver visor so we can be decently safe), and a broken piece of plastic in the steering wheel that rattles every time you turn.

I call him Dover.  When I drive up a hill and the car needs more power, I pat the dashboard and say with a British accent, "Come on Dover, come on Dover.  Come on Dover!  Move your blummin' ass!"  (Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Change of Command

Aaron got a new company commander today.  There has been a lot of hours put in to get ready to change commanders but it finally happened.  Phew, is there a break in sight?

Call me old fashioned but I love watching the soldiers stand at attention and pass the guidon (flag used to signify their unit) around.

Company standing at attention.  Isn't that a sweet background - the blackhawk they fly for medivac missions.
The soul purpose of this company.

Sargent Moore (holding the guidon), new commander Major Spangler (back toward us),
old commander Major Duryea, and battalion commander Colonel Cole  (facing guidon)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Autumn and Thanksgiving 2014

Admiral Yi, one of Korea's most beloved heroes, is buried near our town.
They have made his shrine into a nature preserve.  It is beautiful this time of year.
Pictured is Aaron with the shrine up above (you can barely see the front of the building through the arch).
Seriously.  So pretty.  I've never seen maples turn to these colors!

Not many people can say they deep fry their turkey out on the flight line next to helicopters.
This was our company thanksgiving feast.  A couple Korean soldiers were invited as well.  They made sure Korean Ramyon was part of the feast as well (notice it pictured in the back).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

LDS Seminary

I have one of the best church assignments in the world - teaching seminary.

But, oh, how I feel inadequate.  So inadequate.

Five students come to my home each morning before school and I teach them a lesson for 50 minutes on church history.  We pray and sing.  We memorize scriptures.  We play games.  And we learn our important roles and responsibilities in God's kingdom.

My seminary room.  These are posters from previous lessons we've had.
The other side.
Students had to list commandments, counsel and blessings for missionaries.
One student read the scriptures out loud while the others listed items off.
The Armor of God modern-day style.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kenneth F. Stuart

My dear grandpa Kenny passed away.  After nearly five years of failing health we was finally taken from this life.  There was a was a wonderful funeral - and I was so happy that I could attend!  All they way from Korea.

I took a Space-A flight, costing me $30, to Seattle.  And another flight, a lot more than $30, to Salt Lake City.  And while I'm back in the states, I might as well skip over to New England.

Grandpa and grandma from long ago.  Grandma has changed but grandpa always looks the same.

The eight grandsons were the pallbearers.
And the twelve granddaughters were the honorary pallbearers.
Special tribute from three of grandpa's sons; Major Stuart, Colonel Stuart, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart.
This was my favorite part of the funeral to see them give military honors to their father.
Jeff, the highest ranking of the three, presented the flag to grandma and said something like this.. "On behalf of a grateful nation, we present this flag to you..."  Jeff was speaking softly in order to fight back tears but grandma kept pulling his head in closer so she could hear.  Ha!  It made me chuckle.  And cry.  And burst with pride.
I am very pleased and honored to be part of a military family.

The view across from our house.  Nothing beats home.  Especially in the autumn.

Head light house, Kittery, ME
Grandma and Sadie

Puppy Avannie for Halloween.
She would wear her costume for the neighbors but refused to wear it to her school party.  Why?  I'm not sure.

Penguin Sadie

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Family in Korea

That's right.  I have a cousin that lives in Korea!

Aaron and I took a trip down to Gwangju to pay them a visit.  Cousin Trevor and his beautiful wife, Ju Young, let us stay for a weekend.  It is very nice to have a Korean cousin-in-law that can interpret, take us to new places, and teach us the ways of the people.

Koreans are VERY generous.  We didn't buy one meal or any street food.  We didn't pay for transportation or any of our entertainment.  They are so generous.

Ju Young taught us some cool facts about Korea...

- When a Korean writes their name, they write it like this:  Jung Ju Young
(family name/last name) (generation name/middle name) (given name/first name)
The generation name, in this case, Ju, is given to all the children born of the parents.  For example Judy, June, and Ju Young.

-  Korean family roles are still very traditional.  The women do the housework: cleaning, cooking, and tending children.  Aaron tried to help clear the table after dinner one time but Ju Young insisted he stay seated, not sure if it was because Aaron was a guest and she wanted to make him feel comfortable, but the reason she gave was, "it is women's work."

- When a baby is born in Korea, the baby is 1yr old because they count all the time in the womb.  Then January 1st comes around the baby turns 2yrs old, despite how many months it has actually been born.  Everyone in Korea turns a year older on January 1st.   Ju Young is going to be having a baby next month.  When the baby is born in November, the baby will be 1yr old.  Then two months later, on January 1st, the baby will turn 2yrs old (even though the baby is technically only two MONTHS old).  Crazy counting!
- We were taught how to write our name!  Aaron: 아론  Amy: 에이미

We had a marvelous time family.  Until we meet again in the spring - this time to meet their new baby!

It was conference weekend.  We made the most of our train ride to Gwangju.
I can't get over the rice patties.  So pretty!
It was a festival weekend, not sure what they were celebrating,
but the street was full of vendors, music and delicious food!

Trevor and Ju Young live in an apartment above the roof tops.
I felt like I was from Mary Poppins - the Asian version.
On the rooftops of Gwangju, ooh, what a sight.

We met up with Ju Youngs family and they served us a wonderful, traditional Korean meal.  Very yummy - especially the Korean beef, which Korean pride themselves on.  All on the floor of course.
This is all the furniture in the living room.  A tv, a small table that folds away, a floor mat that heats up, and a shelf.

Pictured (from L to R) family friend, Ju Young's dad, family friend,
nephew, Trevor, Aaron, me, niece, Judy (sister), June's (sister) boyfriend 
Aaron giving it a whirl.   Unfortunately he didn't catch a fish... but I did!
To the ocean!  This is the ocean on the West side of the peninsula.  Very dirty water.  The East side is clear.
Our generous hosts - Ju Young and Trevor.
Eating another wonderful meal at Ju Young's aunt's restaurant.

We ate temple food, the food the Korean monks eat.  No meat, garlic, onion, chives, leeks, green onion, or strong spices.
"Very healthy. Good for hangover" says Ju Young (not that we were drinking).
Pictured behind us is the temple.