Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Kennedy

Dear Kennedy,

Today, you turn 6! You are starting your 3rd month of Kindergarten already and you are learning so much! Sometimes I can't believe that how quickly you have grown and all that has changed through your short lifetime.

You have always cared so much about the people around you, and this year that has worked in your favor. You have already made so many new friends. I love spending time with you amidst the rest of your classmates, listening to them call out to you over and over. You respond to each of them with something--a little laugh or a comment--and each of you cracks up!

You have a big heart, and (in typical female fashion), you feel each little emotion in a big way. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's not. But, we are all learning how to deal with one another, and I trust that God will continue to teach us the way.

Sometimes you remind me so much of myself that it is scary! I know that my mom looks down on our interactions with glee, loving the fact that I have a mini-me who is just as challenging as I was!

You are a grateful, mature, and loving child. I am so proud of all that you have overcome in the last year. It was so much harder for you to leave your family and friends than it was for your brother. You had to leave a preschool that you loved to move to a country where you didn't get to attend preschool and you had to stay at home again. But you handled it well, and we know now why God moved us here when He did. You needed that time to adjust.

You have learned to eat new foods, you are learning 2 new languages, and you have adjusted to all kinds of things that you never thought that you would: walking everywhere, not understanding the people around you, and life in an apartment. All things that drove you crazy when we first got here over a year ago.

Today, you had a great birthday party with so many friends (big and small) who wanted to come and celebrate with you. I am so proud of all that you have accomplished in your short little life, and I love you more than you know!


Friday, September 28, 2012

A bit more Sun Valley

I am so ridiculously behind on posting the shots from our summer. I know that for many of you this is the only way that you see what we've been doing, but others of you already know what we spent our summer doing. Maybe you've already even seen the pictures. So, you can just skip over these posts. For the rest of you, I'm going to try to get through them, but it's going to take me awhile!

We went on little, kid-friendly (or not-so-kid-friendly) hikes just about every day.

The above shot is Kennedy climbing in a bear cave.

It was pretty warm, though, so we carried a lot of water and little boys' shirts.

The kids were always willing to help guide the way by reading the maps for us.

This was one of the not-so-kid-friendly hikes. At this point, we were about halfway up and the kids were getting tired, so Gretchen and I took them back to the lodge to go to the bathroom and have a snack.

Kennedy worked hard at finding the route back for us.

Oh, the relaxing days of summer...


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Our return to baseball...

So, I have made mention of how we have been busy lately. Ha! You haven't heard that around here lately, have you? I know. You're busy, too. I'm going to try to stop complaining about it.

I have been spending two afternoons a week at soccer practice (two? yes, two. that is why I coach middle school sports! no 5-6 or 7 day a week sports for me!). Saturday mornings I have been getting up early and going to school for our jamborees. And it was fun while it lasted. I'm glad it's over!

Baseball, on the other hand, seems to have no end in sight. Maybe that's just because Eric doesn't plan very far ahead and hasn't mentioned an end date to me. Regardless, we have been (and no doubt we'll continue) spending our Saturday afternoons at Eric's baseball games.

I know that he's really been enjoying getting to play again. It's a bit strange for me seeing him play again. It's a bit surreal that we now have our kids running around screaming and we're in Korea. But, there he is pitching again. We're just not in college anymore!

It is a hardball league created for expats by an expat. It's technically a bar league where each team is hosted by a bar, so it provides a new audience for our mission work. It does feel good to get outside of our bubble! (not to mention outside the city!)

Thankfully, there are a couple of other families from our church that also participate, so the kids have fun playing while I watch and/or grade papers, write tests, and read books for school.

And then we pick up a quick dinner with one of the other families before we start the hour-long trek home via subway and bus, arriving home shortly before 9pm.

Hence, the 14 hour Saturdays I've been putting in. I'm so thankful soccer is over!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 38: Flying

Yup, I'm behind again. And no, I did not take a picture every day this week. But, I'm doing my best. And that will just have to be enough for now.

Day 256: I love these beautiful fall afternoons. Cade and I have been walking to soccer practice once a week. This was the sky on the way to school.

Day 257: Believe it or not, there is an airplane flying in this picture. I really had to plan for this, though, because we never see planes in the city. At Eric's baseball games, there are constantly planes flying overhead.

Day 258: Sunday = church, lunch, birthday party/work...even our Sundays are busy these days!

Day 259: Busy at school...

Day 260: Cade and I walked to soccer again. We saw this Sylvan van leaving school. Apparently, some of our students go to Sylvan after school. It brought me right back-for a second.


Day 261: Busy at school...

Day 262: Cade was so excited to go to Costco, that at about 9:45 in the morning, he got dressed in khakis and a sweater vest and made himself a lunch of yogurt, carrot sticks, and cold refried beans while I was in the shower. By the time I got out, he was ready to go. About 6 hours early!

I'm pretty sure that I have some pictures on the real camera from this week, but I don't know when I'll get around to uploading them, so I've got gaps. Oh well.

To see others' photo projects, check out the links:
P52 with Kent Weakley

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sun Valley

As I may have mentioned, we've been busy. I'm praying that things will begin to slow is just about over, so now we're down to just one Saturday activity. Hopefully, this will also allow me to stop leaving my camera at school over the weekends, hence enabling me to upload pictures again every once in awhile. We'll see.

At any rate, this morning Cade was talking about walking back to America to see Grandpa. Of course the best we could do was look at pictures from this past summer (and text with Grandpa). As long as we were looking back through, I figured I should share some with you.

Another of our trips this past summer was to Sun Valley, Idaho. I believe it was a Saturday morning that Eric and I left Leavenworth and drove about two hours east to Mukilteo. There, we got on the ferry and crossed the Sound to pick up the kids.

We drove about a half hour to my aunt's house where we did some laundry and re-packed suitcases (of course!) and had a good dinner with family. Then we went to bed for a few hours.

We got up around 3am, I think and drove southeast across the state of Washington, then a bit through Oregon, before finally arriving in Idaho. The whole trip took us more than twelve hours. Once the kids woke up, our trip slowed considerably. Somebody had to pee about every thirty miles it seemed!

When we finally arrived, the kids were ready for some freedom! They rolled around in the grass with Grandpa and cousins for hours!

Just looking at these pictures makes me homesick for grass, green, and rushing water!

But now, I must get back to writing tests and prepping my next unit!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rafting in Leavenworth

Eric and I even managed to escape for a couple of days by ourselves while we were home last summer. It seems so long ago now!

We drove two hours north, dropped the kids off with my dad, and then drove two hours east to Leavenworth. We went out for a nice dinner, spent the night in a nice hotel, and got up to go whitewater rafting the next day.

The water was pretty high, so we got to ride Class IV rapids on the Wenatchee River. It was so much fun, though we were pretty sore the next day!

We rode in the smaller red boats with a team of six. I hadn't realized how much work it was going to be!

We also happened to have friends in town for the weekend, so we went out for drinks and dessert with them, as well before heading back to get the kids the next morning.

It's hard to believe that we had time for this (and willing babysitters!). We had tried to set up a date for this weekend. We had babysitters lined up and everything, but we are just too busy right now. Eric realized that he won't even be home on Saturday night after he had everything arranged! Things will slow down soon. I just know it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Favorite Photo of July

It is always so hard for me to pick my favorite shot for the month!

There's something about this shot that I really love, though! This was taken while I was in Boston for a conference in July.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Week 37: Hobbies

Hobbies? Who has time for a hobby anymore?! I can barely get bare minimum done these days. No time for hobbies at this point. In fact, the only reason that I have pictures uploaded and edited is because I had to for people at school!

Day 249: I took pictures for our Back to School picnic, but most of them are of other people's kids. This is the only one I got of my own. Enjoying a hot dog...a rare treat around here!

Day 250: We had a great time at our staff retreat, though I'm not sure that we've caught up on sleep yet, and I can guarantee that I haven't caught up on work!

Day 251: It was our first trip to a beach in Korea, and it was so exciting to see sunsets and sky!

Day 252: I actually took this one out the window of our bus on the way back into the city. That is the top of another bus that we were passing at the bottom of the picture.

Day 253: We had a busy day at school and since we got back so late on Monday night, there was really no time to prepare anything for Eric's birthday. He and the kids were happy to continue the "birthday brownie" tradition at a local American restaurant when I got home from soccer practice.
{Guilty Wife Complex}

Day 254: I was able to go with Kennedy on her first field trip of the year because it happened to fall on my day off. Cade got to go with us, too. It was a great, tiring day! Again, most of my pictures had other people's kids in them, so here's one with just my kid!

Day 255: Another insanely busy day at school! This one with added drama from home. It was a good thing my classes were having student-led discussions, so that I could participate in the text message frenzy! And yes, I have now broken down and am using a screen shot as a picture. I know it doesn't count.

I am thankful that I am still able to do what I can to keep up with my photography hobby. I've decided I'm not going to give up my 365 project; I'm just not going to stress over it. I'll take pictures when I can and I'll post them when I can. That's the best I can do for now!

To see others' photo projects, check out the links:
P52 with Kent Weakley

Monday, September 10, 2012

Favorite Photo of June

I really don't have time to do this right now, but I am going to try to catch up on my favorite photo of the months posts...eventually! We had a really great time at our picnic on Friday night and at the beach for our staff retreat this weekend, but we are incredibly tired and of course, we have tons to do!

My favorite photo of June was really hard to pick out, but I finally settled on this one of Cade from Uncle Evan's wedding.

It was so funny to see how excited he was to wear that tuxedo!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Week 36: Back to School

Well, we've been back to school for a while now, but I did manage to get a shot at school this week, and we have our picnic this afternoon, I guess the theme still fits!

So far today I have made a lasagna and put in the freezer for dinner next week, packed for our staff retreat this weekend at the beach, and pretended like I was at school by responding to dozens of emails and posting updates for my classes. Still to do: grade 75 one page papers, clean the house, do the dishes, and head to school to photograph our school-wide Back to School picnic. No wonder I feel like I need a nap!

Day 242: My classes doing their first Socratic circles. It was the perfect day for it since I didn't have much of a voice. Not that you can tell from this picture, but they loved it!

Day 243: Inter-squad jamboree. Morning of soccer. Afternoon of baseball. A long, but good day.

Day 244: Flowers outside our apartment complex on the way home from church.

Day 245: Cade and I spent our morning building boats out of Legos.

Day 246: Kennedy had her first piano lesson with one of the elementary music teachers. She also happens to be our neighbor, and she has a high school-aged son who wants golf lessons, so we're able to trade.

Day 247: I love taking pictures of Seoul Tower when the sky is clear!...on our way to play group.

Day 248: My little bug in a rug!

And now, I have got to get to work! Papers to grade, pictures to take!

To see others' photo projects, check out the links:
P52 with Kent Weakley

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