Sunday, January 1, 2017

Merry and Happy and So On!

Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, 1) it's been way too long since I posted, and 2) once again, we were really sick.  I wasn't as sick this time, thank the Lord, but three of my kids were very ill, to the point that I thought hospital stays were a likelihood.  For almost two full weeks, there was coughing all night, sometimes to the point of throwing up, high fevers, and several trips to the doctor.

And though all that has been past us for a couple weeks now, I guess I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed -- trying to stay positive while figuring things out and paying for doctor's visits because our health insurance was being... challenging.  Plus all the other unique aspects of living immersed in another culture.  

BUT!  There have been some really happy times for me this month was celebrating Christmas with the orphanage our command has sponsored for over sixty years.  It was so inspiring to see the beautiful smiles, and genuine warmth and kindness of the kids, even in the tough circumstances they are growing up with. 

Another happy point: I managed to drive there without the GPS!  Before moving to Busan, I wouldn't have understood what a big deal that is, but let me tell you.  It's a BIG deal, especially since I can count on one hand the number of times I've been out there.  

We snapped this family picture, and while I wanted a photograph that didn't have weird shadows created by fluorescent lights, this is what we've got. 

It still makes me happy, though!  

We were, thankfully, still healthy for Christmas! We went with some new friends to a Christmas Eve service, and these friends have four kids.  So there were thirteen of us riding the subway then the bus.  On the way there, we had a bus driver who apparently missed his calling as an Indy 500 race car driver.  Most of us, kids included, were standing.  We tried to snap a picture for laughs, and I think it pretty accurately captures the adventure.

It was very memorable and fun.  Christmas Day was wonderful, even though several of the gifts we'd ordered hadn't yet arrived.  It was sunny sweater weather, which made for fun playground-hopping in the afternoon, followed by an Indian food feast and walking around the Christmas lights on our way home.

New Year's Eve was quiet, just our family, and yesterday started with -- well, less sleep than we'd hoped for because Annalee is suddenly getting all her teeth and keeps waking up every couple hours screaming, running around the house like a zombie, and then crashing.  It was a quiet and contemplative morning, and last night Matt took me to see La La Land -- which I LOVED.  Would you believe that it was our first time seeing a movie in the theater in over a year?!  So crazy.    

As we walked to the theater last night, Matt and I were reminiscing back to a year ago, when we had absolutely NO idea we would be celebrating in Korea this year.  I don't think that even my craziest imaginings could have given me the story of this past year, and while it was definitely different, I can honestly say it was good, especially because of the picture above that has all seven of us in it.  

I'm planning more posts very soon, because there is so much I want to write about, but for now I just wanted to pop in with a quick update.  I hope you've had a wonderful holiday season.  Since Christmas is what we celebrate, and is my reason for hope and peace and joy even in the mess of the world these days, I'll close with these words I love so much from one of my favorite carols sum it up for me.  
"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,
'God is not dead nor doth He sleep!
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men!'
H.W. Longfellow

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