Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Readers are Leaders

Our kids like to read. They like to read to themselves and they like to be read to. Victoria and Elisha see Ryan and I reading all the time, as well, and like to imitate us. It's really great how they rarely need encouragement to read a book, either by themselves or with us. In fact, Victoria even asks Elisha if he wants to read a book with her and they'll sit and "read" together. Cuteness overload.

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Sunday afternoon fun

Our Sunday afternoon naps started and ended earlier than usual yesterday, so we took to the outdoors to enjoy unseasonably pleasant weather. (August in Korea is usually a nightmare, but not the last couple of days!!)

First we went to a public park that has an in-ground fountain that shoots water up really, really high for the kids to play in:

Then, when that ended (it only runs for an hour), we hit another public park, this time for the swings and slides. Although lately the swings have been the items of choice.

You'd think with over 2 hours of outdoor time, the kids would have gone to bed right away at bed time. But, you'd be wrong. =)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The end of an era...

...the era of Summer Vacation 2011. Sadness all around the Kolbe household. Corrie doesn't get to sleep in anymore. Ryan's at work all day. The kids miss their daddy something fierce.

But, with the start of school come paychecks and the promise of cooler weather. The last part was more of a "normally" thing, because this August has been nothing like last August. Crazy nice weather this year. No complaints.

Ryan had a great half-week start to school. He even has extra planning time during the day due to the absence of a 10th grade this year. (There is one 10th grader at the school, so it made more sense to combine with another grade.)

Please pray:
- that Ryan would continue on as he has started.
- for more students for the school.
- for extra wisdom and patience for me as I care for the kids by myself all day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Car!!!

It is fairly common here in Korea for people, usually military, who are leaving to give away their cars. I would say that a lot of the of the givers and receivers are believers, so it's more along the lines of blessing others.

When we moved to Korea we figured we would wait and see how things went before thinking about getting a car. Coming over everyone we spoke to about getting around in Korea raved about the public transportation. But what NONE of them had experienced was public transportation with toddlers. For the first 6 months Elisha wasn't even walking, so he had to be worn or carried everywhere. Needless to say, public transportation is not that great with little people and a stroller. The train is easy, but that also means making sure to find all the elevators, and not all the stations even HAVE elevators. Halfway through our time here someone gave us a much better double stroller, and that definitely helped, but there were still places that you either had to walk to or ride the bus, and couldn't get to by train.

So we started praying for a car. We prayed that God would either give us a car outright or would give us the funds specifically for a car. A few months ago a family from church felt led to give us their tithe for a car, which ended up being a free car from another army member, and their tithe for insurance. Well, because the car wasn't in the greatest shape, and it was switching from the military system to the Korean system, the Koreans refused to pass it, so we had to junk it. Bummer, dude.

So, we kept praying. We know that if God really wants us to have, or even do, something, He will make it work in His timing.

Another family at school lent us their car while they were in the States for the summer, which was a HUGE blessing. The afternoon of the day that we returned their car to them another family from our church contacted us and said that they wanted to give us their car. (They were getting a slightly newer, slightly bigger car from someone ELSE at church.) And did we want it?? Well, yes, but we were slightly gunshy from the last time, so we asked lots of questions about the car. When those got answered satisfactorily, we agreed that their car would be a huge blessing to us.

So, insurance buying and a morning of paperwork at the vehicle registration place later, we own a car!!

Every time (okay, almost every time) we drive it, we thank God for it. It's not perfect, but it fits our needs. Ryan fits comfortably, the car seats fit, the stroller fits, and it's a good car. It is stick shift, as most personal vehicles here are, so Ryan has been learning to drive that. (He's doing really great!) Now he just has to get his Korean driver's license and he can start driving around, too. Yay!

With gas being more than $7 a gal. we don't just drive it for the heck of it, but so far it has been a huge blessing to us, and we are so thankful!

For those interested, its a 1994 Kia Capital. There are lots more models of both Kias and Hyundais here than in the states. And they're better made. By far.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Glimpses of Summer, Take 2

See, I told you there'd be more.

Celebrating one year in Korea! We ordered McDonald's delivery, since that is one of the things here that you can't get in the states. Sweetness, if I do say so myself.

Hanging out with new friends!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Riding the subway, Korean style

So, last Thursday we went out a family outing to Seoul, as we hadn't gone as much as we had hoped, and teacher orientation started a few days later. The actual outing itself is a post for later (like, when I get around to putting those pictures on the computer).

However, we rode the subway a LOT that day, and to help pass the time/amuse myself I wrote a mental blog post about how to ride a subway, Korean style. Please note that overall, the Koreans are nice people, just not particularly courteous.

So, the first thing to remember when riding the subway is to push. A lot. Getting on, getting off, moving down the aisle. If getting on, push past all the people trying to get off, then run for a seat. If no seats are available, stand by the door. Like, RIGHT by the door. Make it hard for people to get on and off around you.

Don't forgot to have your headphones in listening to music or watching a movie on your phone. If you are sitting down the following doesn't apply to you. However, if you are standing up, when the train slows and stops you have to make absolutely SURE you do not move from where ever you standing so others can get off and on. You MUST hold your position, at least until that white lady with the stroller and TWO kids comes up and almost runs you over. Then, move about an inch.

You get extra bonus points if you smell strongly of kimchi, garlic, or something unpleasant. Also, if you're over 50, help parent everyone else's kids. Whether it's the fact that one sucks his thumb, they're not wearing socks in 65 degree weather, or they're crying because they didn't get what they want.

Don't forget to use the handicap spots for scanning your train card while entering or exiting. Other people don't REALLY need the wider slot. Last, but not least, use the elevator over the escalator or stairs as much as possible. At least if you're over 45. Bonus points if there's nothing wrong with you. And cram as many people on as possible. Remember that pushing from earlier?? That comes in handy again here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Glimpses of Summer, Take 1

Nom nom nom nom.

Lots of arts and crafts...and messes.

Anniversary dinner at On The Border!!!! Yummmmmmm

A serious love of bathtubs. So much so that falling in headfirst, completely clothed, doesn't faze him.

Stay tuned for Take 2. There's moooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.