Speaking of Korea…

Let’s discuss our upcoming move to Seoul. I’ve had a lot of questions and would love to answer them so you can have a better picture of where we will be living and working.
Seoul is in South Korea and is considered a very safe place to live. It is not a 3rd world country, but is actually very advanced and has “really fast internet!” I’ll let you guess who in the family is excited about that. We can keep in touch with Facebook, email, Skype, etc. Right now, Seoul is 14 hours ahead of Mississippi. (So completely opposite night/day.) We will live in an apartment in Seoul and may or may not buy a car after we get there. Their public transportation is very safe and reliable so we can take our time deciding.
Yongsan International School is a private school, K-12. The school operates in English. We still plan on learning Korean to better function in the community. (At least some!) Why move overseas if you aren’t going to attempt to learn the language? That’s no fun! Caleb has made the most progress, so far.
I will be teaching students who have needs in learning English and some form of academic assistance. I’m really looking forward to it. Caleb and Jacob are glad I’ll be at the middle school, but for different reasons! Caleb is starting high school…
Sean will be the HR Manager. He is currently in Seoul trying to find an apartment. (Oh, and to start his new job!)
We look forward to getting to know Korea. It’s a beautiful country!
Once you get to LA, Detroit, etc., you can be in Seoul in a quick 14 hours! Nothing to it! So, if you’re ever in the area, stop by!

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Autism, You Say?

It’s April and that means it’s Autism Awareness month!! When we heard “he has Autism” we were scared. And sad. And angry. We thought his brother would be short changed. We thought he was being short changed.
But now we know….

Autism must mean

Funny.
Smart.
Caring.
Witty.
Compassionate.
Truth telling.
Good dancer.
Gamer.
Avid reader.
Beautiful eyes.
Brother.
Beloved.

Just a part. Not the whole.

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So, we went to Orange Beach for a few days. It was sunny for 2 whole days!! I’ve had juuusst about all I can take of these dreary days.
It’s funny having a little one that loves running crazy outside and getting dirty. Jacob avoided all dirt and sand when he was younger….and anything else that “felt weird.” Julianna is all in, everyday! People ask if she’s always energetic. The answer is yes. Energetic, talkative, inquisitive…. all day, everyday!
Anyway, we flew a kite, dipped our toes in the {freezing!} water and relaxed. And ate a lot.

Daddy’s girl.

IMG_4278.JPGCan you see their names?? Squint really hard.

IMG_4308.JPG3 of my faves.

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Welcoming The New Year!

My kids are almost 14, 11 and almost 5. I’m not sure how that happened so fast! Some days I feel like that makes me old. But, sometimes I just love being their mom and don’t think about my age. That’s my New Year’s resolution– to embrace the moments more…and there are so many to embrace! How many blessings do we miss out on by being preoccupied with the daily stuff or other people’s stuff? Ahhhh….the joys of being 40ish. I’m caring less and less about the silly stuff and more about substance. Being kind, loving my neighbor, being a good wife and mom. Enjoying my days….my family, my job, my church, my friends. Focusing on all of the good things leaves very little time for the worries and stuff that can quickly become all consuming.
So, that is my 2015 resolution! Well, that and drinking more water…

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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I alone cannot change the world, but I can
cast a stone across the waters to create many
ripples. –Mother Teresa

Thankful

November is half way over and I’m just getting around to a “thankful” post…

I am thankful for my family.  They’re my faves!

Sean, my favorite person to be around.  (and yes, precious children, that means we need a minute to have a conversation without you sometimes!)  There are no meaningless conversations with him….he’s always soul searching and I love it. And he makes me laugh!

Caleb, Sean’s mini me.  His creativity and sensitivity are awesome and he’s just a great kid to be around, 13 and all. He loves Jacob and Julianna and has some great dance moves. (probably got those from his Dad….)

Jacob, my baby boy.  Oh, how I love his quirks! He has turned into an amazing big brother and keeps us laughing.  He is my time keeper and built in alarm clock.

Julianna, our beautiful, rambunctious one. She loves life and having fun.  Life is not boring around here!

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~ Guillaume Apollinaire

How Time Flies!

Miss Julianna has been home for 1 year!  It’s hard to believe……sometimes it seems like just yesterday and sometimes it seems like she’s been here forever.  She’s such a huge part of our family.

She LOVES to play school and mama.  She likes to wear our shoes, carry my purse, tell us what to do and take care of her babies. She’s a girly girl who also likes to play hard and get dirty.  Bows and cleats….

She has become a lot more affectionate and secure in the past few months.  It has been a year of adjustment and grieving for her.  So many new experiences and people to get used to, all the while missing her familiar.  New situations can still cause anxiety for her.  Korea is still part of our conversations and we hope to keep her very connected to her birth culture.   Some have asked if she knows she’s adopted or if we want to keep her language, etc.  We would LOVE to expose her to more Korean culture, but it’s hard here in Mississippi:)  The diversity is, shall we say, a bit lacking in our community.  While we’re on that subject, if you see people of different ethnicities in the community, be polite and nice.  Reach out to them.  Be patient with them.  Moving to a new culture is hard.  Learning a new language is hard.  Fitting in to new social situations is hard.  Making friends is hard.  All of this is hard enough when you are from the same country and move to a new area, but when absolutely everything is new, it’s especially difficult. Don’t be afraid to interact with people who are not the same as you!! (that really applies to anyone, not just immigrants) Just a little PSA for you!   Back to adoption talk……yes, she knows and it’s totally okay with us that she realizes she’s adopted.  What good would it do to keep that a secret?   We know it will bring questions along the way and we’ll deal with them as they come up.  We will speak positively about her birth mother and father, we won’t act like they don’t exist…..we will speak highly of her culture and not ever act like she isn’t Korean.  She has people in Korea who love her and we love that!   And remember, she’s almost 5 and super perceptive, so there’s no secret keeping from her!

Julianna is our strong, feisty, super smart and charming little girl!  She is compassionate and loving.  The boys love having her as a sister and think she does no wrong.  (well, almost nothing wrong)  We love her to pieces!

 

It’s Fall, Y’all!

Once again, time has gotten away and this blog is, “sadly”, being neglected.

While I do love summer, I’m glad it’s finally fall.  I love fall-ish stuff.  Pumpkins and football weather, soccer season and boots.  The J’s are both enjoying soccer.  We usually hit the doughnut shop afterwards, so that’s always a highlight for everyone.  The Korean owner calls Julianna by her Korean name, so that’s fun.  We have mixed feelings about Julianna losing her Korean heritage.  Obviously, we’re glad she’s learning English and adjusting to our family but…..she is Korean.  Anyway, maybe culture/language classes are to come.

Jacob is in 5th grade and doing really well.  He said he’s really surprised at how much he’s already learning in 5th grade:)  He’s so funny!  Caleb is enjoying 8th grade and Julianna is coming right along in her preschool class.  She’ll start speech therapy soon, so we’re excited about that.   I’m LOVING my teaching job and Sean’s still traveling a lot, so now you know everything!

Our family stays realllllly busy, just like yours, I’m sure!  Life is racing along and we’re trying not to miss too much along the way and enjoy every minute of it! Because, why not?

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“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Time Flies!

Keeping up with blogging has taken a backseat to life as a family of 5! Three kids have turned out to be way more than 2!:) Julianna has been home for 9 months. Her language has improved so much lately….she’s doing well in her new preschool class and is as energetic as ever. So much energy!
The boys changed schools this year. Caleb really likes it (8th grade!?!) and Jacob is warming up to his new class/teacher. He does like being right next door to me, though, so that helps. Speaking of me, I have never been more exhausted as I was Friday evening! So tired!! I already love my kids but I’m not gonna lie….it’s hard work. Hard and fun!
Nothing else to say so I’ll post a few summer pics.

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It’s Summer ’14!

Why has it been so long since I’ve updated this blog?? Here’s what’s new….Julianna is cuter than ever, Jacob is going into 5th grade at a new school and is nervous, Caleb is ready for 8th grade (at the same school where I’ll be teaching) and I finished my last day at NICS today. (It’s been 6 years!!)
We’ve been to the DAC, Sky Zone, seen family….you know, typical summery stuff.
Pics–just for you!

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We’re heading to Six Flags next week! Summer’s going by sooo fast! We’re having fun– hope you are, too!

Overdue Update

It’s Spring!! Yippee!!
Lately, we’ve been enjoying the pretty weather, riding bikes and tricycles, playing baseball, and counting down to summer.
Julianna enjoyed her first Easter at home. Egg hunts, candy and a pretty dress….she loved it all.
Julianna has been home for 5 1/2 months— kinda crazy! She’s doing really well, her English is coming right along and she’s as feisty as ever! She fits right in with the family and the boys still love her to death:)

A few quick pics—

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Happy Spring!