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Where to begin? I feel like that is how I start every message… : ) But really April has seriously flown by! I can’t believe that my fourth month here is coming to a close! April has been an eventful month and a wonderful month for me. I have been able to build relationships with people. Elena, Aaron, and I have joined a Bible study and so that has been encouraging and a really neat thing to be a part of, we have made some really good friends and I have really enjoyed getting to know people better. I still am really enjoying being on the worship team and our church actually just moved to a new sanctuary which is really nice so that is really cool, because the church is growing and so it is neat to see how God provided a new facility. I have really been enjoying teaching my kids and they are, MY kids… I already know that my heart is going to break when I’m going to have to say good-bye. They are wonderful and trouble all at the same time. It is also interesting seeing how much they have learned in their short time of having been here, and just seeing them growing, literally is amazing. Speaking of growing it is so weird hearing that my little brother is now taller than my big brother!!! I have always known that I was going to be the shortest in my family but that is ridiculous! : ) I have already come to terms with the fact that when I return home Simon is going to probably going be taller than I am but I’m not going to lie it is going to be strange to have all my siblings taller than me : ) Well, that is what I started to write at the end of April and now it is already the coming dangerously close to the end of May!!! Oh, how fast the time has flown by!!! The biggest change has probably been that our Canadian friend Erynn, a fellow foreign teacher, well her contract ended at the end of April and because our school hasn’t gone up in students they decided to not replace her which means more classes for us to teach. So over the last month I have gained a considerable amount of classes. So on Monday and Wednesday I pull about an eleven hour work day… It’s a bit ridiculous but so far the Lord has been very faithful and I have been able to maintain a pretty good and positive attitude about it. I’m not saying that I’m perfect only that I have tried to remain optimistic about all the classes. But with the added class load I have been exhausted! I still have MY same kids just with some additional kids now : ) This past week has probably been the worst as far as my heart attitude goes… I wasn’t feeling well the last two days and that mixed with the tiredness led to irritability, heightened emotions, and an overall feeling of UGH. So you can be keeping me in your prayers : ) On the up side Elena and I bought bunnies!!! (Don’t judge us you don’t know our lives ; ) ) Their names are Ninja and Pokey… Ninja is all black with a little white spot on his forehead and his face kind of looks like a Guinea Pig’s. And Pokey is white with black speckles on his body and black ears. They’re cute and they like to cuddle which is nice… Lets see what else? Oh, due to all that has been going on and all the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head I have been nesting/cleaning constantly… So the apartment has been looking really nice : ) I love coming home to a clean apartment there is sometime relieving about it… The weather has also been warmer due to the fact that spring has finally and completely committed to being here so that has been incredible! P.S. the frostbite is completely and utterly gone and I haven’t had a cold in awhile (knock on wood) sadly, Elena just got diagnosed with Tonsillitis as of today so please be praying for her to get better and pray that I don’t get it!!! On another topic completely unrelated, my sister Kelley is coming to see me in JULY!!! And I am so VERY VERY excited about it!!! I can’t wait!!! We have also started Korean lessons with one of friends from church which has been really awesome but I have to be honest it has been really hard trying to find time to study in the midst of all that has been happening… All that to say, things are going well here : ) I am definitely staying very busy and trying to stay on top of all that I have to do and all that I am expected to do. I am really sorry if I haven’t written you back or called you back! But please know that I love you and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can! Also Thank You! Thank You! to everyone again for your words of encouragement and prayers! I cannot express to you enough how much your letters, emails, Facebook comments, messages, Skype chats, and conversations have meant to me! I miss you all terribly but I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I find rest in that : ) But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss you or think about you! I would love to hear from you if you ever get the chance!!! I will try to be more consistent with my blogging : ) Talk to you all soon!

Hello! Greetings from Korea!

First of all I just want to say THANK YOU!!! For all your prayers, thoughts, letters, and words of encouragement!! I have appreciated them all more than I can possibly express or stay!!! So thank you again!  So spring has officially arrived here in Korea and it is b-e-a-u-tiful!!!! I cannot express how thankful I am that I no longer have to wear a parka and worry about frostbite… Today in fact I wore flip flops and a tank top, if you can believe it… Today was actually a really go day overall, I called my Dad last night because it was his birthday  so I was able to caught him on his morning commute and have a great conversation with him. I love that he thinks I’m funny and I love to make him laugh… It makes my heart happy to hear his laugh J Good times, good times… Anyways last month they sent Elena, Aaron, and me to a conference in Seoul.  So, today we had a teacher’s day where we didn’t have to teach but the other teachers had to hear us talk about what we learned and pass on the knowledge then we organized the faculty room. It was like Christmas J We rearranged and organized all the books and went through supplements, piles of tapes and CDs and got rid of a ton of trash that had somehow managed to shove itself on the bookshelves. It was a good day. I felt like I had accomplished something great J So things here have been going really well… I am so thankful for you all and the relationships and family that I have; it has truly been an incredible blessing to know that I have your support and encouragement J It is also nice that I have been able to make some new friends here as well. With the weather getting warmer that also means that I will be able to travel more and see more of Korea which is also really exciting! We are actually going to the Cherry Blossom festival tomorrow which should be breathtaking! Anywho, I just really wanted to send out an update to tell you all that I am so thankful for you and that I am doing really good J Love you all and miss you! Oh and I posted two videos of some of my kids… They are so precious to me! Love you all!!!! I hope to hear from you soon J

holla

holla

Story Time

Hello!

I’m sorry that it has been so long since I have last written! This has been a crazy month! We have started our new kindergarten classes, which has begin with new expectations for us and much more to do. There has also been a recent addition to our little family, our friend Aaron that we went to college with arrived here at the end of February and is teaching at the same school as us. Now where do I begin… I will start with a story 😉

Since we arrived here we have been eagerly anticipating the emergence of spring…  And finally near the beginning of March we would have days where the sun was shining and it was warm. Warm as in, you would still have to wear full coverings with mittens but with the sun out you didn’t feel like if there was a sudden wind you would die from your flesh freezing. And so on a glorious Sunday afternoon we decided to go rollerblading with two of our fellow teachers (they are from Canada). Now Canadians don’t mess around… They have been ice skating/ playing hockey since birth… or close to it…  So they know how to rollerblade… Now Elena on the other hand had never rollerbladed before in her entire life. (Warning! Rabbit Trail! For those of you out there who are wondering, “Where did they get rollerblades from?” Well, let me tell you… When a foreign teacher leaves their apartment to return home they leave a LOT of stuff behind for the next foreign teacher that will take their place and be occupying their apartment. When Elena and I moved in we threw away SO much stuff that had just been accumulating over, I don’t know, however long… But some of the things that were left here are a pair of rollerblades, a full set of pads (wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads), a skateboard, a guitar with broken strings, towels, dishes… and sooo much more. So we kept what we wanted and threw out the rest and that is the story behind the story) Thankfully, there had been enough rollerblades left over the years that we all had a pair blades… Elena was padded up and we were headed to the river. Korea has a ton of rivers throughout it and since their culture is really big on remaining physically fit there are bike/walking trails along the rivers. They are really nice. Now, to get to the trail that was an adventure in itself because we had to go down a hill to get there, but that’s not the point of the story… The point is we made it to the trail and we had been rollerblading for a bit and Elena was doing stupendous! She hadn’t fallen and all was well. Well, as we are blading along we see a hill coming and Elena had been over a few by now and she had conquered them all, she had learned how to use the brake and she was doing pretty well. So I am alongside her and we arrived at the top of this hill and I told her ‘it will be fine’, ‘I got you’, the normal things… So our arms are linked and we both had our brakes on as we are heading down the hill and all is going really well and as we start edging toward the bottom I tell her she needs to take off her brakes because we needed to. There were too many little things on the walkway and if our brakes hit one we could fall… Well, she says, “No!” and I keep telling her, “Elena! You have to! Take off your brakes!” “I CAN’T! NO!” is what she keeps telling me so I take off my brakes and as we are going she gets off balance and straight dives like Superman into the air knowing that she had her pads on and should be fine. Now, while she has made this conscious decision that she will be fine, I am thrown of balance and the force of her flinging herself into the air threw me backwards and as she is skidding forward, like Superman, thoroughly enjoying herself, I might add, I fall on my solidly on my right cheek… And by that I don’t mean the cheek that is on your face. I land directly on my butt.  And everyone that is around us gasps not knowing what to do… Then Elena and I started laughing… Elena came out without a scratch and I had a gross bruise on my butt for about two weeks! And that is the story of us rollerblading! J It’s a good story, I know…  😉

 Now that story time is over I’ll catch you up on everything else that has been going on… I LOVE my kids! They are fantastic and they have captured my heart. That doesn’t mean it is easy everyday but I definitely am enjoying teaching a lot more! I have a new kinder class and they are the really little ones so they barely know any English, but they love to laugh! I love that laughter and smiles can transcend even language barriers. It’s one of my favorite things! I love making my kids laugh! So classes are going really well and I feel that overall I have a lot more control over the classroom. I also feel more confident in the subjects I am teaching and how I am teaching so that has been a real blessing. 

I got tonsillitis earlier this month and I currently have a cold… So I making sure that I am taking my vitamins regularly and trying to drink a lot of orange juice. I think it is my kids though… Someone is always sick, it’s just a fact.

Spring seems to have finally arrived! So that has been super exciting! I don’t feel cold all the time anymore and today I actually felt hot for the first time since I have been in Korea.  I have also made a new resolution to get out more. To live. To explore. To have some adventures, make some choices, ya know? I think that it is definitely a good thing.

Our church family has been a real blessing as well. Being a part of the worship team has been one of the best things for me. I love singing and being able to use my voice to worship our Lord. It has also been awesome to have made friends here. The majority of our friends from church are the worship team and they are all amazing people and I love getting to know them all more. They are all really gifted musicians as well so it has been amazing being able to learn from them.

I miss everyone from home terribly… But that is to be expected… I had a good cry the other day as I watched Little Women… I can never hold it together when Beth dies! I just can’t get past it… But it needed to happen I needed to have a good cry… So yeah… That’s about it… Life is going well…. I would love to hear from you all if you ever get a chance… Love you all and I will try to update my blog more regularly… Oh, and Elena posted some videos of us on her blog so if you want to see them her blog is elenajoy.wordpress.com. Talk to you all later J

kinder graduation

For those of you who would like to know why I have been sooo busy the past few weeks here it is… My kinder kids graduated yesterday!!! So for the past few weeks we have been working really hard with our kids on memorizing their performances, scripts, and songs. Plus we still have all our other classes so by the end of the day I am exhausted! But now their graduation is finished and next week we get new classes of kinder kids : ) Here are some of the pictures taken of the kids.. I hope you enjoy