Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I ♥ Tokyo

Well, we are back to the land of Korea. The trip was wonderful, but there were a lot of bumps in the road! However, nothing could have rained on our parade while we were in Japan! Tokyo was far better than I ever imagined. I don't have the energy to write all about our adventures at the moment, but I wanted to let you all know that we have safely made it back to our home in Korea. We'll be going back to work soon. So, I need to put all of my stuff put away and get myself back in real world mode...booo!!! I promise to have some pictures and stories up for you people very soon. The picture above seems to really capture the feeling of the city. This is in Odaiba (man made Tokyo island). Behind us is the Rainbow Bridge, which stretches from the heart of Tokyo city out to the most amazing and futuristic looking place you've ever seen!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

packed, pumped and ready to race

I just wanted to let everyone know that we are off to Tokyo! Everything is packed and we are ready to go. I'm taking my computer, so maybe I'll get in a quick blog at some point on the trip. If not, I am sure to inform you of how everything goes when we return. I have the camera ready to go and a couple of batteries charged. Hopefully, we'll get some great pics to share with you, too!
I'm a little nervous because I called the hotel to confirm our reservations, and it took somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. The problem was that I had to give the man my name, so I obviously had to spell it out. I would say "A-M." He would say "A-N".... no "A-M like man!" Finally, when we got past the M, the B sounded like a D, as did the E. UGGHH...Chris just sat there and laughed at me. I'm sure this took longer than it actually took me to learn to spell my name as a child. We may be in for a very confusing vacation. Chris has left all of the planning up to me, saying, "I don't care what we do. We can do whatever you want!" Yeah, more like he knew it was gonna be difficult, and he didn't want to deal with it! Anyway, here's a little preview of the subway system that we are going to be trying to navigate. This is the very simplified version because I couldn't get the detailed one to upload correctly. If you ask me it looks like one big maze. If I can get us around Tokyo, then maybe it's time for me to start thinking about The Amazing Race!

Monday, April 20, 2009

"So, here's the deal" :)

Well, I think I kind of let the cat out of the bag in my last blog! I finally have a plan for my life when I get back to the states in August. I'm truly excited about everything that is to come, and with that being said...DUN DUN DUN...I'm going back to school!

I'm gonna be attending Murray State in August. I'll be getting my Master's in Business Administration. I have to be honest, I was a little torn between two loves, but I've decided I'm just gonna have to go with my gut on this one. My first love will always be UK. You see, I'll be true to the C-A-T-S for the rest of my life. I'm extremely proud of my Alma mater, and my blood....well, it will always be BLUE. However, I've been away from home for right at 9 months now, and when I return, I actually wanna be close to home. I want to be able to make frequent trips and spend lots of time with my family and friends in Western Kentucky because I really haven't spent much time there in the past 3 years. I guess home really is still where my heart is, and for now, I think I wanna be close!

In addition to going to school, I will also be working as a graduate assistant for the Dean of the MBA program. He offered me this position after becoming acquainted via email, and honestly this was one of the deciding factors! I did not want to go back to school without any source of income, and though this will not give me a lot, it should provide me with everything I need. My job will consist of many different things, but the bulk of my time will be devoted to research in business development, economics and educational systems in under developed areas in Africa. When I first found out that the job would consist of a lot of research, I was really turned off. Then, I found out that the research was in an area that I am extremely interested. I think it was at that point that I realized God was saying, "Go for it, Am!"
I'm not really sure what the future will hold, but the plan is to live and attend school in Murray for about a year. Getting through the program shouldn't take too long, and then from there we'll just wait and see where life takes me! The past couple of months I have really struggled with what I should do when my contract ends in August, but my prayers were answered all in a couple of emails. It's really awesome how things always seem to just fall into place, even when it seems like you have no clue what the next step should be.

I hope you all know how much you mean to me and just how much I appreciate your love, support and prayers! Now, get excited because I'm coming home for at least a year. And just to prove my faithfulness...

I dont care how bad of a basketball season we've had ...they're still my CATS!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

weekend rambles

Thanks to Kat, a fellow teacher and friend at school, I'm proud to report I ate a whole bowl of Mac N Cheese today! I then ate the last of the Doritos that Mom sent a couple of weeks ago. I'm now stuffed to the max! I'm still feeling pretty bad with this bug, but finally I got so hungry that I woke up from a nap this afternoon actually thinking about food, which I haven't done all week. It was soooo yummy, and hopefully this means I'm on the road to recovery. Doritos may not be the most nutritious snack, but whatever it takes. Unfortunately, this is gonna be another healing weekend for me because I have to be better by next weekend when we leave for Tokyo. I'm trying to plan out what we are going to be doing so that we dont waste time when we get there, but we may end of doing a couple of guided tours if it's really hard to navigate.
On another note I got my haircut this morning. It was supposed to be just a trim, but in true Korean fashion, the woman proceeded to take oooo probably 4 inches off of my hair. I dont really care because I still have quite a bit of length, but I showed her with my hair and fingers that I wanted only the ends barley snipped. What if I did care? I guess it wouldn't have made a difference because that same 4 inches of hair would be laying on the floor in her shop. So, I guess it's good that it really didn't make a bit of difference to me :)

Lastly, I was tagged by Jacki at I'm suppose to list a few details about myself for all my readers. Here goes:

**8 Things I'm Looking Forward To**
1. being reunited with family and friends in August (that alone is way more than 8)

2. summer days at the beach

3. taking the longest bubble bath in my life once I'm home

4. driving my car down the boulevard (let's hope I still remember how to drive)

5. Tokyo trip

6. sleeping in my nice and comfy bed

7. going back to school (MBA program at Murray State upon returning home...more details later)

8. good ole American food

**8 Things I Did Yesterday**
1. took jeans to a seamstress

2. secretly drank coffee and pretended it was tea (Chris gets mad if I drink coffee while I'm sick!)

3. called a friend but didn't get an answer (Brooke Riley....answer your phone!)

4. mad one of my students cry

5. ate cabbage like Mamaw makes it

6. listened to the same song on my ipod like 12 times

7. talked to Mama on skype

8. blew my nose so many times that I still look like Rudolph today

**8 Things I Wish I Could Do**
1. have a positive attitude all the time

2. speak Korean

3. go get Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough out of my fridge

4. spend as much time with Cullen as I do with the kids at school

5. have a conversation with Jesus in flesh and blood

6. teleport home for a day or so

7. always say "at least I tried"

8. grow about 3 inches taller :)

I thought that this was fun, and something that you all might find entertaining! I was suppose to do 8 TV shows I watch, but I don't watch 8 different shows!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


For the past week, Chris and I both have been trying to fight off some kind of bug. I've had a fever off and on, and it just seems like mine isn't going away. Fortunately, I went to a different doctor today, one who speaks good English. He gave me some antibiotics, and told me I had some kind of infection in my throat. Thankfully, I had my tonsils removed before coming over; so maybe this won't stick around too long. The hardest part about it is he told me that raising my voice is only going to irritate my already inflamed pharynx. It's so hard not to raise my voice though when the kids are being loud. I hate to take a day off, but if it comes down to it, I'm gonna have to so that I can get better. There isn't a whole lot else going on around here. We've just been taking it easy. Only 10 more days until we leave for Tokyo, so I'm trying to get better so that I'm not run down for the trip.
Hope everyone has a great rest of the's hump day!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! I'm so thankful for this time of the year. The sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the cross is something that I never want to take lightly. For some reason, I always think of my flaws and sins more at this time of the year. I guess it's because I know that I am part of the reason that Jesus had to die on that cross. The song that I always think of when I think of Easter is "Feel the Nails." I've included the lyrics of the chorus, and I hope you will join me in reflecting on the cross this Easter!

"Does he still feel the nails

Every time I fail

Can he hear the crowd cry "Crucify" again

Am I causing Him pain

Then I know I've got to change

I just can't bear the thought of hurting Him"

Chris stayed up all night long, and he managed to capture the Easter Sunday sunrise over Ulsan. I thought it was so beautiful. Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Special Little People

The weather has been so nice this week that I took one of my classes out for a picnic! I have one class in particular that's really great. They just so happen to be called my "Special Class." All this really means is that they use different books, they're at the academy a little longer, their parents pay more money and every now and then we do out of class activities. I love every minute I spend with my special class! It's made up of only 3 students, sooo awesome!!! Being that there are only a few kids, I really fell like I know a lot about each of them. I know I'm not suppose to have favorites, but I do...opps! Here are a couple of pictures from our class picnic. The girl with glasses is Jenny (Gi Won), the other is Leah (U Gina) and the boy is Henry (Jael)... and this is definitely the only class where I know their Korean names. Can you tell they are special in my book?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sping brings cherry blossoms

It's finally looking like spring in Korea! The country is grey for a good portion of the year, but not this week! Every corner of town greets it's people with soft hints of pink. There are cherry blossom trees blooming across the country and Ulsan. Chris and I took full advantage of the beautiful weather and the cherry blossom trees this weekend by making a trip to Geyong ju (Korea's Culture City). There was a cherry blossom festival going on, and I have to admit the cherry blossoms warmed my heart! Geyong ju has lots cherry blossoms, and all the stereotypical Korean things like temples, museums, parks, etc. We mainly enjoyed the park and nature today, as it was a beautiful day to be outside. We had already experienced Geyong ju in the fall, and we did a lot then. Today, we acted like Koreans, which means we walked around and took pictures of anything and everything! It's so nice to capture the beauty in nature after the cold winter is gone. Chris, on the other hand, was not too enthused with the cherry blossom trees. He goes, "You mean we have to travel an hour to look at the same trees I can see outside of my bedroom window?" Agghhh...he just doesn't get it! "Yes, Chris we do!" We took so many good pictures, but I hate to bore you with all of them. So, here are a few of my favorites.

The highlight of Chris's weekend was not the cherry blossoms, but a new sushi bar discovery we made on Saturday night. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty excited too! This sushi bar had such a relaxing and chilled atmosphere, and the taste of the sushi was similar to what we have back home. I'm
so curious what the sushi will be like in Japan. When we were planning to come to Korea, we thought that the sushi would be amazing. However, after arriving and trying out a few sushi restaurants, we decided that the sushi in the states was what we preferred. I guess Japan will be the true and ultimate test of sushi. I'm really hoping that the "real deal" is more like the stuff from back home, but I'm guessing Korea has taken some tips from it's neighbor. Don't worry, I'll be sure to give you all the down low on what we think of true Japanese sushi....I'm sure it will be wonderful!!!
The only other news I have is something that the world probably has absolutely no interest in hearing, but sometimes I have to include memories of Korea that I want to preserve for myself. As we were out and about this weekend we saw a girl who is a new employee at our school. OK...we saw her, but she didn't see us :) I'm not gonna mention her name. However, she seems nice, but I don't really talk to her much. The funny thing is she always seems to be clinging and flirting with whatever guy is around or giving them some kind of really uncomfortable seductive eye...YES, at work!!! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that when we saw her she was again hanging on to the arm of some guy, and not any of the guys from our school! I say all of this not to point fingers at one particular person, but to leave myself with a reminder of how Korea and it's culture (eight months in) is still a mystery to me. Korea claims to be a reserved culture, but females wear little to no clothes, there's one park in particular dedicated to the anatomy of the male body (if ya know what I mean), and couples are extremely affectionate in public and I'm talking young couples. Maybe my perspective is off, but I just don't sense that the culture is anymore reserved than back home.
I'll leave you with my favorite picture from the weekend. This little boy was so cute with his rice cake. His mom kept trying to take pictures of him, but he just wanted to stare at us foreigners... PRECIOUS!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bringing bootylicious back

It's been one of the best weeks ever!!!! I got a box of food from Mom this week, and it was like Christmas! I opened it to find Lucky Charms, Doritos, a couple of taco kits, Easter candy, and a number of things I had been needing but just couldn't find in Korea. We got off work and opened the Doritos and Lucky Charms and just indulged for a while. Then we made chicken tacos for dinner last night. It was soooo good! Sour cream would have absolutely made the meal, but it will be a little while before we get that. No worries, we're floating on cloud nine every time we take out that bag of Doritos. Thankfully, Mom sent 2 bags, since one family size bag of Doritos was never enough for anyone! We are trying to make them last, but I'm tempted to finish them off every time I take a bite of all that goodness. I also received a gift from one of my student's mothers yesterday. It was a cake!!! That was dessert last night. Now THIS is how you pack on the pounds! Maybe I can get a little booty back before I come home :)
Hope everyone is having a great week!

~Am :)