December in Seoul is COLD! Shorter days, freezing temps…a Southern girl’s dream!
The first semester is coming to a close. YIPPEEEE! This school year has been going well, but it’s time for a break. Students and teachers everywhere are rejoicing!
We’ll be going to Italy for winter break! Usually, I would prefer a warmer climate for Christmas, but this year, we’re opting for a different type of vacation. We’re wanting to travel to a variety of places as a family of 5. Caleb loves art and we’re looking forward to going to museums and seeing a whole other piece of the world. The younger two are excited about the pizza and pasta. If we could only avoid jetlag.
Most of our presents will be opened before we leave and we’ll actually celebrate Christmas in Italy. Jacob insists that we have a few traditions upheld while on our trip, so we’ll see how that works out! I’m packing stockings, hot chocolate and candy…
It’s already October, the best month of the year! Overnight, our weather changed from warm to very chilly, but I refuse to wear a jacket, like a true Southerner.
Our middle school will have their annual Week Without Walls trip soon. I’ll go with 8th grade this year. Should be fun!
Caleb will be going on a soccer trip soon to Malaysia. I might be jealous.
Julianna takes ballet and basketball at school and loves both. That’s a good representation of her personality. She also wishes I was Korean. I get it. It’s hard being different when you look like someone who should speak Korean and have a Korean family.
I still love my middle school students. They’re just a fun group! I’ve always enjoyed being around teenagers, including my own two. Jacob is a funny 13.75 year old. Caleb is our pseudo-adult, like always. He’s our creative soul who questions why. It’s hard to give answers when you question why, yourself.
Why are people not interested in life outside of themselves?
Why don’t people think for themselves?
Why should I conform to something I can’t agree with?
Why are people scared of truth?
Those questions do not have simple answers.
He’s moving on to 8th grade! Jacob is a pro at being a middle schooler. His favorite classes were Bible, Pre-Algebra and Social Studies. He liked chapel and his small group, too. If we can get him to stop carrying everything in his bookbag, I’ll be happy.
A few 7th-grade highlights
Week Without Walls in Korea (ziplining, lots of outdoor activities, traditional Korean food, etc.)
Everland (amusement park)
Skiing over Christmas break
Turning 13 in Hong Kong
For those who may wonder what our life looks like here…
Most days are hurried and loud and tiring and loud again. Very fancy!
Our typical weekday includes going to school at 7:20. You would think I might be a morning person by now, but nope. Not happening. Coffee or not.
School, work, after school meetings, practice and activities…
We may or may not eat at home. There are so many restaurants around! I’m excited about the new dumpling shop near our house.
We can eat for around 15,000 won or $13ish. Yippee!
Homework, bedtime…rinse and repeat.
On weekends we like to venture out and 4 of us like to try new foods. There are noodles or rice most places so I don’t starve-don’t worry;)
Occasionally, I paint with friends- quite therapeutic!
My “Congratulations” similar-to-Tiramisu birthday cake! Yum!
It’s freezing now so we don’t drive the scooter but drive our tiny car instead. Parking can be pretty scarce so we use public transportation, too. We’re used to a lot of things about the city but grocery shopping is still a process. Another reason why I’m thankful for our new dumpling shop! And endless coffee shops!
The biggest difference for us is city vs. suburbs. Otherwise, our lives in Seoul are strikingly similar to everywhere else we’ve lived. People are people everywhere and we all want the same things!
We had a whirlwind trip to the U.S., full of airports and long car rides, visiting family and friends and lots of shopping. I do not like shopping. At all. That being said, my tall kids and their parents needed clothes. We stocked up on stuff, threw in some Target, Amazon and Wal Mart randomness and called it good.
We had fun seeing cousins and friends in (HOT) MS and AL, fishing and kneeboarding, bowling and swimming, celebrating July 4th and my Dad’s birthday and eating too much.
This is my last week before school starts. The 2nd year overseas should be a breeze! (please, please, please) The kids have 2 weeks. Only 1 kid is excited. Guess who!
Quick summer breakdown in (a lot of!) photos…
because I screenshot everything, hoping I’ll actually remember good ideas! ❤️ I still love middle schoolers!
Happy Summer, y’all!
Only 2 1/2 more school days! Jacob asked me what we would be eating during the summer. I guess he questions my abilities to provide meals.
That means that next year we’ll have 1st, 7th and 10th graders. Mhmm. I’m not sure that’s going to work for me.
I was chatting with my British neighbor (so, read with an accent) and her friends who are also teachers and they said that the first year overseas is terrible. The hardest. You can’t make decisions and feel out of control. Really? You don’t say…
This school year is ending with saying goodbye to students and friends, some only for the summer but some for longer. Bittersweet is an understatement. I’m not usually the “girlfriend” type but I’ve met friends that I didn’t know I needed.
Everyone is ready for the break. Time for relaxing (after the flight, of course!) and visiting our people. We’ll be in our Southern homes mid June, where there is brewed iced tea. Jacob wants fried rice when we get there and we all want Memphis Pizza. But, I’m sure we’ll miss our Gong Cha!
A few “day in the life” pictures:
Happy Spring and Summer!