Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leah looking "zealed"

Every day Leah keeps us laughing with the funny things that she says and does.

Last night as we were starting to read the scriptures she excitedly said, "I am so zealed that I have the scriptures on my DSi!"

We were totally laughing. You see, the night before we were reading in the scriptures how the people were zealous in keeping the commandments of God. We asked the kids what zeal, and zealous meant, and then explained. Apparently we got across the meaning, just not how to use it.

We love you Leah and your "zeal" for life.

P.S. Leah has a need for speed, because the only times i see her this happy are when she is on a motorcycle or being pulled behind a boat on a tube. I need to blog about where we did both of these things. The cleanse is over, and I do feel better, but there is still so much I want to document and share. So, I will keep on trying to blog more.

Have a great day!!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

blog cleanse day 7: blossoming

"I'm Elle Woods, and this is bruiser woods."

My sisters always say that Rebecca looks like Reese Witherspoon.

I don't think she looks like Reese Witherspoon, but that she just has that kind of beauty that comes naturally without effort. And even more beautiful because she isn't aware of it.

This is a picture of her at the park by our house right after we moved here. There are always all the agimas (older women) at the park hanging out together with their little dogs.

Since we have arrived here my sweet little miss mary (as we affectionately call her) has really come into her own. Watching her has been like watching a little pink rose bud blossom and bloom and realize all of is potential and beauty. How fun is that for a mother?!
All of a sudden she isn't a little girl, and is starting junior high. the first of many firsts.

Like playing soccer for the first time. Her coach said she was a natural. Something we are starting to hear a lot. Rebecca is just naturally graceful at everything she does. She is just so pretty to watch. More importantly she absolutely loves it! With each thing she tries she finds more joy and gains more confidence. Go Mary!

I have to put this in. She is coming up on James her friend from church (his first year too!)
and she gets around him. (she wasn't always so lucky. smile)

Of course, we are always all cheering for her and telling her what to do, or to be more aggressive. Of course, she has to stop and respond to us, and argue with us. The funniest is in her first swim meet. She was so busy looking around at the other swimmers she was losing the lead. Her coach yelled at her to stop watching them and just swim. She stops at the end of the lane and asks her coach what she is saying. She is so funny like that. She has to know what everyone is saying and doing all the time. SO NOSEY.
that's our girl.
and I am so very proud of her.
she also started playing the clarinet at school. I wish she loved it, because it comes naturally to her. Ammon loves to hear her play.
And, it made starting piano this month a breeze and she lovessssss piano. I really couldn't be a happier mom right now. I have a piano in my home and all four of my girls taking lessons and they all are loving playing. Could this really hold up? I pray it will. Literally.

on your mark,
get set,
Today Dave and I went to Rebecca's last swim meet at Seoul International School. Another first for her, swimming. She just learned all the strokes and again, her coach just can't get over how naturally it comes to her. She is the fastest on the team in most of the strokes. I realize that it would be very different in a very competitive area, and she definitely doesn't win every time she swims, but they have her competing in the hardest level already and she has only been swimming a few months. I love to watch her swim. She just is so pretty to watch, and her form is perfect. Wait until you guys see her butterfly this summer. So cool! We all meet at the pool and Rebecca teaches us. She wants to be a swim teacher now. She absolutely loves swimming, and has the muscles to prove it now. When I saw this picture above, I told her that grandma reneer would have loved this pictures (like i do). Her little muscley arms, legs and buns. I'm so jealous.

she looks like she has a shark fin because of all her hair. ha ha.

Her daddy is proud of her too. Dave had the proudest look on his face as he watched Rebecca swim. So cute.
(he is behind a glass window watching, hence the glare).

I am making her do the next two sports volleyball and basketball. She is all nervous because she hasn't ever played these two either. I explained that she had never done swimming or soccer and she loves them now. You never know until you try. And this is the perfect time to try, and then she will be ready for high school sports if she likes them. This really has been one of the best things about coming to Korea. The opportunity to participate in everything! It has been so fun for all of the kids.

WE LOVe you REBECCA Mary!!!! Now if you could just control that temper of yours. (i kid, i love you). Have you guys seen tangled? It is our favorite movie right now. I love the villain, her mom. I quote her to the girls all the time. ha ha. My dad always called me an angel with horns. What can I say?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

blog cleanse day 6: vintage kicks

kelly found these at the thrift store when we were in Utah last spring. She brought them to me and said that I could have them for Ammon if I saved them for her little boy (He's comin kell). I wanted to show you how he is rockin these vintage or "fresh" (as jacob says) kicks.
(look at his little fat legs, love em)

you know what he is saying right here (ball, ball, ball, ball, ball).

Love them! Thanks Kell for sharing!

Blog cleanse day 5: Seoul Korea Temple

We have had so many amazing experiences at the temple since we have moved here. I love to see the temple, i love to go to the temple, i love being there with my family. love love love.

the first saturday of every month we all go to the temple as a family. It is our district's temple day, where the workers in the temple are from our district and the work is done in english. There is a house right next to the temple that they open up for people to use and we all bring our children and everyone takes turns babysitting, and the teenagers do baptisms. etc. The younger kids have fun all playing together. Then after, we all walk (we are in downtown Seoul) and go somewhere yummy to eat.

Dave and I have always gone to the temple once a month, but now going as a whole family has really been so awesome.
I love the Korean members here. I love their dedication to the Lord. The picture above reminds me of that. The temple is usually closed on Monday, but Monday was the only day that a group of members from Japan could come. Among them some of our good friends. The space available flight from Misawa AFB flies in Monday and flies out Tuesday morning. It is cheaper for them to fly here than to travel to the Tokyo temple. So, the korean temple workers all came and opened the temple just for our small group of 15 (i came too). The plane was late and we got there a couple of hours later than expected. It was so nice to walk up and the worker opened the door to welcome us all dressed in white. How warm and welcoming they were. How gracious and kind. How strong the spirit was. It is like you are enveloped in a big warm embrace from your Heavenly Father when you enter the door. It is like going home. We really are strangers on this earth. It is like being away at college. How wonderful the feeling of going home is. So comfortable, so safe, so full of love. When the Korean worker prayed in English so humbly and with so much love, I couldn't help but cry. There is no place better on earth than the temple.
As a part of youth conference over Christmas break the kids went to the temple. The next day at church Jacob got up and shared his feelings about the temple. He said that he had never felt the spirit so strong as he did that day as he walked outside and everything was covered in snow so beautiful and white. He had one of those moments when the holy ghost truly bears witness to your heart that Heavenly Father really is real, that there is a plan for this life, that there is a reason why we follow the commandments even though it is hard sometimes. Those moments we never forget, and strengthen us to have the courage to continue living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I really challenge you to take your teenage children to the temple once a month. It will be the best decision you have ever made as a parent. Nothing will help them more to stay strong in a world that is growing increasingly immoral. When we were in AZ it was our kids favorite. They loved it more than anything. Just them and us, the temple, and out to dinner after. Your relationship with them will get stronger too. There is great power in the temple, as well as the scriptures.

Do you remember this ensign cover from September. We had just gotten in the mail right before we were moving and I brought it with me. When we moved into our house here Leah saw it and asked, "Are we getting the Korean Ensign now?" Too funny. What is crazy is come to find out this couple is Korean, and guess what? This is our new temple President and his wife, as of November. His name is President Song. I met with him in December when I was called to be a temple worker. Meeting with him and then having him place his hands on my head and set me apart as a temple worker was one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of my life. He was speaking in Korean, so I didn't even know what he was saying, but I felt so completely his priesthood power and authority from God. If you don't know what I am talking about, let me try to explain, because it is one of the most amazing things. When you are asked or we believe called by God to serve in some way in our church no matter what it is whether you are a bishop or a nursery worker, when you are set apart (a blessing given to you by someone who has the priesthood) you are given the ability and the authority to do whatever you have been asked to do. I felt it the most in harder callings that I have had like being a missionary, or Relief Society president. I felt it the most then, because they were so out of my normal ability to be able to do. But being set apart to do so, it is like another one of those super powers that I keep talking about lately. You are yourself, but you are magnified in your abilities, if that makes sense. It was really hard to be released from these callings (another blessing by someone with the priesthood) because you really notice those gifts and abilities leaving. It is a bummer to lose the extra spirit and help that you have. You start thinking you really are that amazing person only to realize, oh dang, Heavenly Father just needed me to be that great to do all that He needed me to do.

I am already feeling that that will be the case with being a temple worker. I served in the temple as a worker for the first time this month. It was one of the best days of my life. To administer such sacred ordinances that prepare people to return to our Heavenly Father's presence and be together with their families forever filled my whole soul with light and love.

The temple is for everyone. Learn how to get there here
if you haven't already.

I can't wait to go next month.

Monday, January 24, 2011

blog cleanse day 4: We love the Snow!

Sunday we had snow falling all day. It was so beautiful. I am in love with snow. I always said that i never wanted to live in snow, but I changed my mind. I love it! So does Ammon. This is his face as he came out the door for the first time in his snow boots (thanks thrift store) and walking all on his own. (I realize 3 inch snow storms aren't really living in snow. This kind of snow I can handle. )
He started blazing a trail and never looked back, or up!
Wait up for us Ammon!
I had to park the car down the hill and hike up when I got back from Seoul.
So now to take Rebecca to school we had to hike back down.

After we dropped Rebecca off, Ammon played in the snow. He is completely and totally obsessed with balls, much to Jacob's excitement. Ammon learned to walk only so he could kick a ball. His first steps were walking across the room kicking a balloon. Ball is the first thing that he says each morning and he is non stop saying it over and over. He curls up his tongue in a funny cute way for the "L" sound. So we can distinguish it from bottle, and his bear (pooh bear), the other two loves of his life. In the picture above he is saying ball. I think we have ourselves a soccer player.
Isn't he so handsome? I think he looks like Wes (my brother's son) here.
The only down side to snow. A cold face plant when you fall.

oh yah, and having to come inside. I had to drag him in. Is this just the most pitiful sad face you have ever seen? so cute.
Well, after a snowy day, a hot breakfast dinner is just the thing. These are zucchini pancakes, but they are more like a fritata. I first had them at kelly's house and I love them. I begged her to make them every morning. Here is the recipe ( i double it).

-4 eggs
-2 cups grated zucchini
-3/4 cup flour
-1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
-3 tbsp. olive oil
-4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup butter melted

mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and cook like pancakes. You don't need to butter them and are delicious with maple syrup.

family scriptures afterwards with jacob sneaking up on ammon to shoot him. Why do boys have to do the whole shooting thing? Do you see ammon sticking out his finger and doing the sound effect.

I don't like my house at night. There are too many fluorescent lights, and I can't stand fluorescent lights, and all the white walls yuk. So not warm and cozy. Sorry, Kelly, I just can't do all white. It makes me miss my old house.
Rebecca starting to look like a teenager.

blog cleanse day 3: I am a new woman!!!

the scriptures have changed my life recently (everyday food by martha as well, but i've mentioned that before). Remember my new year's resolutions? Scripture and prayer were the first on the list. I decided that I was not going to miss one day this year of reading the scriptures (specifically the book of mormon). I started out just thinking I will read two pages, and I will do it first thing, before anything else and combine it of course with prayer and pondering. T say I have been blown away by the results, would be an understatement.

Why as humans are we so easy to forget what we already know! At least I am.

I feel the embodiment of wisdom and order! I know you are shaking your heads, thinking it can't be true, and you are kinda right. You see my wisdom and order isn't necessarily others wisdom and order, but for me it is nothing short of miraculous.

I am not only doing all of my goals, but I have without thinking picked up some other things that I have struggled with all my life, Like a budget. Yes, I have struggled to even have the desire to live by a budget, let alone the discipline. I mean, I did, but it was last on the list. And you know how often the item last on the list gets done. I realize it has only been three weeks (because I know you are laughing, and thinking how long will this last), but it isn't the time that I am talking about. It is where my heart it, where my mind is at. I have this new found strength, and I know who it is coming from.

Also, I have struggled forever to not lose it with my kids. To control my tongue. I have read every book, tried every program, every mind trick. I would wake with resolve every day, only to failure again and again. So frustrating and disheartening. I have begged for help, and forgiveness over and over, but still no change.

Case in point. That wasn't even on my goal list. Just doing "the basics" first. The basics or the "small and simple things" that Heavenly Father has told us to do. And because I have, all of the sudden, I have an increased ability to overcome my weaknesses. Of course, Heavenly Father has also shown me a few more that I need to work on. That's ok. I'll take it!

The scriptures have truly become delicious to me, and I can't get enough. Today, I got in the mail the second season of "Lark Rise to Candelford." I was so excited. I told myself it I do all of my chores fast, I can watch an episode before the kids get home. When the time came and my house was so clean and tidy, just how i like it, and ammon in bed for a nap. I wanted to read my scriptures instead. I was even surprised. I read a couple of juicy chapters, and cuddled up for a short nap.

So if you are struggling with something, and you have tried everything, and nothing works. You can't seem to find the courage,strength, discipline, humility, or whatever holds you back, take a looksie at this promise by Ezra Taft Benson (a prophet)

"There is a power in the Book of Mormon which will begin to flow into your lives the minute you begin a serious study of the book."

So I ask you again, what power are you seeking?
Because I am ready to make myself a super hero costume, in all humility of course (ha ha). Most likely it will resemble my current one. That of pajamas. and now I leave you with....

To eternity and beyondddddd!!!
(get it. ha ha.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 2 of the blog cleanse: Shabu Shabu

So here is the gang gathered for Shabu Shabu. This was the coolest restaurant and yummy food. I can't wait to take dave back. It was like a big log cabin inside and nestled on the side of a hill with woods all around. It was fun, but it will be prettier when it isn't winter and is more green. What is Shabu Shabu you ask?.........

Kim will show you how it is done. You have a boiling pot of broth over the stove. Ours is divided in two. One side is spicy, one not. They bring you plates of meat, and veggies to put in and cook. I loved combining the cooked meat with the rice wrapped in lettuce (bottom left hand corner) and then dip it in one of the yummy sauces.

That is the fun thing about Korean food. There are always tons of little dishes with all kinds of treats. Some good, some not so good. It's an adventure for the palate.

this is tashina trying the octopus. She
decided not so good.
up close for your viewing pleasure.

So there you have it. Shabu Shabu is a mystery to you no longer.

Why don't you have an adventure of your own, and try to find it where you live.
Let me know how it goes!!!

Although, I must say this will probably cost way more in the states. Here it was a mere $10 for really all you could eat. Love that!

Talk to you tomorrow!
I go into seoul tomorrow for their branch conference, last week was Daegu. fun fun.