I am thankful…for snow!

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This year has been full of blessings and adventures. In January, Clarissa and I accompanied Tim on a work trip to Hawaii. We had a wonderful week while he worked. In February and March, Clarissa and I went home to Virginia and Pennsylvania to visit both sides of the family. In April, we moved to a different city in South Korea when Tim got a new job and promotion. We have since visited Seoul and Okinawa on vacation.

This Sunday was actually a holiday in the South Korean church. The church chooses one Sunday every year to celebrate Thanksgiving Sunday where they give thanks to God for all of His blessings. It just so happens to coincide with American Thanksgiving. The service was so good. I think it was the first time we’ve had communion since we moved to Korea. After church, we had a Thanksgiving feast for lunch as a congregation. It was nice to celebrate with friends and family.

This week we took a break from our normal homeschool curriculum to focus on Thanksgiving. Clarissa and I read some books about the history of Thanksgiving. We also spent some time talking about what it means to be thankful. One of my favorite books to read with her is God Gave Us Thankful Hearts. We read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We talked about what we were thankful for.

The library on post had some coloring sheets that you could put together to make “My Book of Thanks.” Clarissa colored several of the pages but we have not finished it yet.

We attended a playgroup this week at Brownstone. The children were supposed to draw a picture of something that they were thankful for. This is what Clarissa drew.

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When the teacher asked her about it she said, “This is the castle in Okinawa where all the knights and the king fight bad guys. But they are dead so we can see their house.” I guess she was listening on vacation when I was trying to teach her the history of Shuri Castle.

On Thanksgiving Day, Tim woke up with Clarissa so that I could sleep in. But once it started snowing, Clarissa ran in to wake me up because she was so excited. She then thought that it was Christmas (because it snows for Christmas and not Thanksgiving) and wanted to know when she could open her presents…We had turkey sausage and biscuits for brunch. By the time I was finished with dishes, the snow had melted.

We were thankful to wake up to snow this morning. I made sure to head out right after breakfast just in case the snow melted. It wasn’t a problem since it started snowing again while we were outside. Clarissa’s snow suit hasn’t arrived yet, but she lasted about an hour. We had so much fun!

We have been working on teaching Clarissa what it means to be thankful. We are so blessed and there are so many needs in the world. She helped me pack two boxes online for Operation Christmas Child. We will look through Compassion’s Gift Catalog to choose a birthday present for Jesus. We can talk about being thankful all day long, but if Tim and I are not living out contentment and being thankful, Clarissa will have a hard time learning it. So we are making more of an effort to talk about our blessings.

Pennsylvania visit

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Apparently I acquired many things in Virginia because when I tried to check in my suitcase, it was 20 pounds over the weight limit. Oops. Mom is going to mail some to me instead. 

Clarissa did well on the flight to Philadelphia. She was again disappointed at the lack of TV. But I gave her a new activity book so she was fine. 

After the flight, a lady stopped me to ask how old Clarissa was and then asked me how to keep a toddler happy on a long flight. I wrote a post on that once so I need to go back and update it. 

On Wednesday, Clarissa, Omi, and I went to the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum. It only cost $6.50 per person for admission and it was excellent. We stayed two hours, but we would have stayed longer if it wasn’t closing time. 

There were two floors of interactive exhibits. The top floor was more geared toward preschool and lower elementary aged kids. There were life size dioramas of animals that live in Pennsylvania. There were even models of the animal homes. Some animals had crafts as well.  They had several matching games, a huge bird’s nest with bird costumes to wear, an Eastern Woodlands Indian longhouse, live turtles, giant teeth, cars with a race track, a boat, and a play house. 

The bottom floor was geared toward elementary and middle school kids. They had some dress up clothes, food pyramid activities, ancient Egypt, a one room school house, a coal mine, and dinosaurs. 

On Thursday we had lunch at the park where Tim and I were engaged. We didn’t get all the way to the marina because Clarissa was distracted by the playground. 

We went to the thrift store in the afternoon to get Clarissa some snow boots and snow pants. I was excited because we found both as well as black boots, brown boots, and some skirts for me. On the way home we spent some time with uncle Matt and aunt Anne. 

On Friday, we woke up to snow. Clarissa was so excited that she really wouldn’t eat her breakfast. Once outside, we tried to make a snowman and taught Clarissa how to have a snowball fight. 

We even went sledding which I had never done before. 

It was fun to walk around the yard and see how different things look in the snow. 

We spent the evening at Aunt Anne’s for a family dinner and a play date with her granddaughters. When it was time to say goodbye Clarissa went from “but I like it here” to “I want to go back to my homeland for Daddy to hold me for real (instead of Skype).” 

Saturday was one of my favorite days. Omi put in an old Sunday school music cassette tape and Clarissa loved it! She spent at least an hour dancing around the room. Then she spent a few hours playing Legos with Pop before making some jewelry with Omi. 

After dinner we went to Aunt Anne’s for a Jordan Essentials party and a play date for Clarissa. 

Sunday morning, Omi opened her birthday presents. Then we headed south to meet Tim’s kindergarten teacher who always sends Clarissa presents for holidays. We headed to Philadelphia to meet up with some other aunts and uncles before we headed to the airport. 

When we moved to Korea, we flew through JFK and had to change terminals and go through security again. I assumed it was because we switched airlines… We had to do that again this round. I was so glad we had a long layover because the trek between terminals and security took over two hours. 

We were able to Skype Tim before our flight. The flight wasn’t full so they changed our seats to give us our own row of 4. Clarissa fell asleep within 20 minutes and slept about 8 hours. Due to the increased space, I actually slept 4 hours on the plane, which never happens. 

We are on our train to Daegu now. Clarissa and I are so excited to see Tim.