Thursday, April 29, 2010

Andy at 16 months

Taken April 27.

Andy's current favorite activities: unrolling toilet paper, splashing in the bathtub, trying to get outside as often as possible, and climbing up on the kitchen table to get at whatever interesting project Kate has left out. We have to make sure to keep the chairs pushed in so he can't get up there.

He still isn't saying anything, but he lets us know how much he understands. The other day he got ahold of my keys, took them over to the front door, and touched the keys to the doorknob.

Interesting things going on outside! While we were taking pictures it started hailing.

We've been doing "Where's Andy's nose?" "Where's Daddy's nose?" Sometimes he doesn't quite get on his nose. We still think it's awfully cute.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dragon Dress and Giggles

Jill Tracy (who made the skirt for Kate's autumn dress) found this dragon fabric and thought of our little dragon-loving girl, so she bought it and whipped up a dress! It's so cute.

I got some pictures after church about a week ago.

I got some good head shots, too! I was doing some funny little thing with my hand (the non-camera-holding hand, that is), and Kate, for once, actually thought it was funny.

That's our girl!

Jill also found some fleece in the same pattern, so Kate has a matching dragon blanket, too!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Korea videos--church and temple

When we were in Cheonan we attended the local branch. I got permission to film part of a hymn (unobtrusively from the back) one Sunday, and then we got some of the general mayhem after the meeting.

Sister Cho Kyung Sun (조경순) also served in Taejon mission, and was in my greenie house in Gwangju. Her husband was the branch president in Cheonan. I remember going to church there that first Sunday and seeing her. "Hey, I know you!" That was cool.

The Tices were another American couple that was there teaching. We discovered that Sister Tice's sister was friends with Doug's brother Al's ex-wife. Kind of an odd connection. And after we got back home I realized that I had a book by Brother Tice, that one of my Young Women's leaders gave me when I was fifteen. We just recently got back in touch with them, and found out they're in our area now! It's like we keep following each other around.

The temple in Seoul. I love the way you walk up the street and turn the corner and Bam! There it is. They do have a sign, in English and Korean, out on the main street, so hopefully that helps people find it!

We ran into Sister Jung Su Jin (정수진) outside the temple. She'd been a stake missionary in Gwangju. There was one sister missionary who was serving in the little visitor's center by the church (which I hear is not there anymore), and Sister Jung filled in as her companion for a while. At the time I couldn't really say much in Korean, so it was fun to run into her again and actually be able to carry on a conversation. She was serving a mission in Seoul.

After I got these videos put together I thought I really should get ahold of someone in Cheonan, so I got the number for the missionaries serving there now, called them and got Sister Cho's number, and called and talked to her. She has four kids now. When we were there she had two little girls. Now she has two boys as well.

I asked about Sister Yoon Jung Hee. (윤정희--she's not in the video.) She was always really sweet. I remember we had her and her husband over for dinner once, and then she fed us the night before we left Korea. Sister Cho said they were not in Cheonan anymore but had moved to Jinju. So I called the Busan mission office and got the number for the missionaries in Jinju. I talked to Elder McCain (who was serving there with his companion, Elder Elder. We had an Elder Elder in my mission too. Apparently not related). I asked him if he knew Yoon Jung Hee, and he said, "Yes, we just had dinner at her house last night!"

So I got Sister Yoon's number and gave her a call. It took her a minute to figure out who I was, which was kind of comical (well, it has been a long time!). We exchanged email addresses. I knew that her husband had family in the U.S. and occasionally came over to visit, but I was surprised to learn that his mom lives in Tacoma. Holy cow. He said he was just here a couple of months ago, and should be coming again this summer. I said, "Bring your wife this time!" It would be great to see them again.

You know that six-degrees-of-separation thing? In LDS circles it's waaaay closer.

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Influx of Isopods (or, Kate and her 37 little friends)

(Warning: this post contains creepy-crawlies. If you do not like creepy-crawlies, feel free to not read this post.)

Roly-polies. Pillbugs. Sowbugs. Woodlice. Small terrestrial crustaceans. In Newfoundland they call them carpenters.

We have them.

(Illustration by Kate. See the rolled-up one?)

Last week I took Kate and Andy out for a walk around the bike path. Kate picked up a roly-poly that she found crawling across the road. She brought it home and named it Turtle.

Poor Turtle did not make it through the night. (Let us pause for a moment of silence....) So I went looking online and found some information, and this cute video, about how to keep pillbugs. It looked like it would be pretty interesting, and not difficult.

A couple of days after that we went out around the bike path again, and asked our neighbors Glory and Sky (담이와 하누리) to go with us. They packed along some Choco Pies and 귤 (little oranges) and we had a little picnic. We had some fun turning over rocks and looking at worms and things, and then we found some rotting wood that was full of pillbugs. Pillbug heaven. We put some of the wood in a plastic bag that I had brought along to put our garbage in, and brought it home.

We put the pillbugs and their wood in a little tub we've had sitting on our back porch. It used to have a flower in it, and now has a lot of dirt, dead leaves, a bit of moss, and something else coming up volunteer. A good home for pillbugs! Doug went out and picked up a spray bottle so we can keep things damp. (But not too damp.)

Kate drew some pictures to tape around the tub so the pillbugs would have something to look at. She's been having fun watching them and picking them up and naming them things like Daisy and Pug Bill. (It eventually dawned on me that Pug Bill is an anagram of pillbug.) Most of the ones we found are the non-rolling variety, but we do have a few rollers, too. We've been giving them little bits of fruit and corn. So far they seem to be doing okay!

Kate expounds upon pillbugs. (I have no idea if there are really 37--I have not counted them.)

I learned how to say pillbug in Korean. They're called 쥐며느리 (chui myeo neu ri), which means "mouse's daughter-in-law."

I tried getting some pictures with my macro lens. This is not easy. They keep moving.

It's interesting to see how their armor plates fit together, and the shape and texture. They are pretty cool little critters.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Days with Andy

A few random picture of our cute boy!

Andy keeps trying to climb up on the kitchen table and get at Kate's markers and colored pencils. Doug figured out that he wanted to draw, so we put him in his highchair with a sheet of paper taped to his tray.

Lunchtime siesta!

And a video! We were playing with Amelia and Andy was just cracking up, so Doug got out the video camera, and then he started crying. Still cute. (You may remember Amelia from this post.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sharptooth Shirt

We love Kate's drawings. They just have so much personality and energy. In addition to putting them on our bathroom walls, we also put them on clothes! This was Doug's idea.

Kate drew this fierce spotted dinosaur a few months ago. It's taped up on her bedroom wall with the rest of her gallery. I took a picture of it and removed the background in Photoshop, and then Doug printed it out on transfer paper and ironed it onto a shirt.

Kate shows off her Sharptooth smile. Raaahr!

What a fun shirt!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Korea videos--at the hagwon

More videos! This is the hagwon in Cheonan where we worked.

Doug shows off a classroom with his "Trashman and Ratboy" wall, and some more of his creations in the teachers' room. Appearing at the end are a few of the kids that we worked with. It's kind of alarming to think that they're practically all grown up now!

Min Young shows off her mad gonggi skills. I love the bit at 1:49 where she does the quick hand sweep and picks up the two pieces that are farther apart. She was so good at that.

I have Min Young's original gonggi (not the ones she's using in the video). I bought several sets to bring home, and she liked the ones that I got, so she wanted to trade. Which I was happy to do because I thought hers were very cool. I remember sitting on the floor in the Seoul airport and playing gonggi with Doug while we waited for our flight home.

Next: Doug's class says hi!

Choi Ji Young pouts because she wants to look through the video camera. I think Doug let her, after this. (Note: the Korean last name 최 is generally romanized as Choi, which looks like it should be pronounced "Choy," but it isn't. It's kind of like a cross between "Chay" and "Chweh.")

The book spinners. Yong Il and Yong Ee are twins. Their names mean "Dragon One" and "Dragon Two."

Cities in Korea are divided up into sections called dongs. (That's with a long O, like "dome" with an ng sound.) The dong we lived in was called Ssang Yong Dong (쌍용동), which means Twin Dragons. The hagwon was in another dong, close by. One day it occurred to me to ask Yong Il and Yong Ee if they lived in Ssang Yong Dong, and they said they did. I thought this was hilarious. They didn't seem to see anything remarkable about it.

Aram is the boy whose cards Doug was reading through the camera. He was a funny kid. (I recall he appreciated Doug's sense of humor.) I wonder where he is now.

Doug just started a new quarter at school. He has two morning classes back-to-back, in different classrooms. A few days ago he stayed behind a little longer than usual in the first classroom, to talk to a student. A couple of students came in for the next class. One of them starting writing something in Korean on the chalkboard, and Doug read it (much to their surprise!). Turns out she's from Cheonan. In fact, she's from Bek Seok Dong, which is where Doug is pointing the camera in the first video when he mentions the apartments up on the mountain. Small world.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Egg Hunt

The first weekend in April is General Conference. It happens, every few years, that Conference falls on Easter. Or Easter falls on Conference. Anyway, we didn't dress up and go to church, but stayed home and watched the sessions online.

Doug made us blueberry pancakes this morning (yum!). Between Conference sessions (after Andy woke up from his nap), I took the kids outside for a little egg hunt.

Andy kept taking off in all directions, and I had to run and retrieve him. Exciting!

The Easter Bunny gets into hard-to-reach places!

"Let's see, what's in this one?" Some of the eggs had candy in them and some had coins. (I also ordered an art book at an Usborne Books party, that I figured would be an Easter present, but it hasn't come yet.)

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Inked. (Non-toxic, fortunately!)

We have to be really careful what we leave out on the table. I turned around and found Andy with Kate's little black stamping pad. He had the lid off and was licking it.


I chased him down with the camera. Couldn't get him to hold still long enough for a clear shot!

Apparently Andy was trying to give himself a back-of-the-neck tattoo. Too bad his mom had to stifle his self-expression. Mom just doesn't get it.

I found the lid on the floor, looking surprisingly juicy.

Everything cleaned up fairly easily. I popped Andy in the tub and gave him a scrubbing. I'm glad it wasn't something worse!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Northwest Trek

Isn't this pretty?  This is going to be one of those posts with way too many photos, so I wanted to start out with a nice one.  The sign said it was a red-flowering currant.

Last Thursday we went out to Northwest Trek. We'd been there once before, almost four years ago, when Kate was just a little older than Andy is now. (I never got around to blogging those photos.) It's a wildlife park with animals that are native to the area.

It was a cool, gray day, and had been raining off and on, but we decided to go anyway and didn't have any trouble. The lighting was nice for pictures, too!

Ready to go!

Kate films the golden eagle.

This bald eagle hopped right into the water to get a drink.

Spring growth!

Kate on the tram. It goes out through the free-ranging area, where you can see a lot of animals. (Mostly ungulates. In fact, aside from the trumpeter swans, and a mention of beavers, they were all ungulates.)

Moose! There are four moose in the park, and we got to see all of them. Apparently this is quite unusual.

Big bison bull right by the road.

Elk and bighorn sheep.

More bison. They were right in the road and had to be persuaded to move out of the way. (This is looking back, after we'd gone through.)

Andy says, "Whoa, lots of ungulates!"

Bachelor bighorns.

Elk growing new antlers.

When we took Kate at this age, she fell asleep on the tram too. Andy held out slightly longer and didn't conk out till the very end.

I realized I didn't post a picture of the mountain goats or blacktail deer. Also ungulates.

After the tram we moved Andy into the backback baby carrier so Kate could ride in the stroller.

Interesting view of an otter.

The cougar is not in the free-ranging area, for obvious reasons. It would eat the ungulates.

Neither is the grizzly.

"Are we having fun?"

"You bet!"

Snowy owl (blinding!)

And barn owls! Complete with fake barn. (The barn owl at the Point Defiance zoo has a fake barn, too. Must be a requirement or something.)

"I'm exploring!"

Everybody smile!

Both kids fell asleep on the way home. Big day!

A good time was had by all!