Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sunday in Seoul

Early Sunday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed and met Ian and Casey at the train station to catch a 7AM train to Seoul for the day.

We had a few plans in mind but knowing that we don't always know how to get from point A to point B I knew we could just be flying by the seat of our pants all day. If there is one thing I've learned being in Korea is flexibility, and to a degree I've never known before. So we hopped on the train while it was still dark and made our way to Cheongyangni Station in Seoul. This caused some serious confusion the first time we went not understanding that C-Station was IN Seoul. We thought we were going to another city near Seoul.

We arrived about 8:30ish and headed down to the subway to get Ian, Casey, and I (as I had forgotten mine at home) T-Money cards. These allow you to get on and off the subway, taxis, and buses easily and you can even purchase things at many convenience stores as well. It's quite the handy little card to carry. It cost 3,000W to activate then you charge it with however much you wish. In Jan. we charged our cards with 10,000W and Ben was able to use it for 3 days and then again today with more to spare. It saves money in the long haul and the convenience of it is great.

With T-Money cards in hand we hoped a line and attempted to head for the Korean War Memorial and Museum.

Korean War Monument

In the distance from the KWM is N-Tower atop Mt. Namsan. Next trip, we didn't make it this time.



Another shot of N-Tower

Peace Tower Clock

The inscription on a separate clock just across the path:

The Clock of Hope for Peaceful Unification
Someday when unification is realized, this clock will be put on the clock tower, and will indicate the time of unification.

A few of the large decorative swords we saw in the displays.

No words needed, I heart Starbucks! (wherever I am)

One of my favorite parts of the day by far! mmmm...a grand vanilla latte in a nice big mug with a warm iced cinnamon roll = heaven!!!

A few shots of our wander through Namdemun Market aka cheap souvenir central. Its packed with people selling any and everything. Also a great place and known for pick-pocketing glad it didn't happen to any of us.

A few cheap things I picked up: 2 pair of nice wooden chop sticks, 2 decorative Soju cups just thought they were so cute but they definitely won't be used for Soju bleh!, and a Korean flag you just gotta get one from everywhere you go.

We were in downtown Seoul headed to Lotte Dept. Store so Ben could get a few Krispy Kreme donuts and we heard some pomp and circumstance going on at the temple so Casey and I ditched the boys and ran across the street to capture what we found out was the changing of the guard ceremony. So glad we got to see this!

Elaborately painted drums and dress.

We were determined to capture what was left of the ceremony so we walked right up front and got some good shots.

Another hilight of the day, we ate at an Irish Pub with great food and beer.

Ben thoroughly enjoyed his fish and chips and Coke.

Sadly my food was extremely disappointing. Not sure how you mess up shepard's pie but they did, somehow got Koreanized and they killed it with Mozzarella cheese on top, although cheese is a treasure here it just didn't suit the dish and there is no need for over kill. And there was not a veggie to be found in the dish, oh well at least the beer was great!

Our last stop of the day was a hurried trip to Costco! We were rushing to catch our 8pm train home thankfully a cab driver knew where to go as we walked a ways and realized we had headed the wrong way. I was delighted to find corn tortilla chips, salsa, and honey-wheat pretzels. Ben even found a gray "hole-y blanket" if you know Ben this is a can't live without and he was desperate to find one here. He claims it helps him sleep better because the holes give him ventilation yet maintain some warmth.

WHEW! We made our train home... allow me to explain. After a quick run around Costco we had probably no more then 10 minutes to catch a cab and get to the train station which we knew was close, so it shouldn't have been a problem. But of course it was. Our cabby first pretended to not understand us, we said keecha (train) and we showed him our tickets and then apparently he finally got it. However, he must have not liked 4 hurried Americans as passengers because he took the longest round about route to the train station and when we hoped out of the cab Ian look at his watch and yelled, "We have one minute to make this train!!!" We all took off running up a massive amount of stairs and arms full of Costco stuff.

I was in front, then Ben, Casey, and Ian. We absolutely booked like crazy through the people to the other side of the train station down another massive flight of stairs and to the train where we hopped on just in the nick of time. I'm sure many people were wondering what was going on with us running like our pants where on fire but we were determined to make this train.

I can't even tell you how much adrenaline was pumping through my veins. I remember turning around and not seeing Ian or Casey and thinking they weren't going to make it and then when I made it to the train I turned around and there they were! WHEW! What a relief. I honestly don't know how we made it but we did and thats all that mattered.

As I was the first person on the train I pulled out our tickets and looked for our seats. I headed into car #2 and realized our seats had been taken which didn't bother me a bit because the car was packed out. So we turned around and headed back to car #1 where there was hardly anyone and planted ourselves after a long but fun day.

The ticket guy came by and asked us for our tickets, as we were not sitting in our seats and we probably looked suspicious. I search in my coat pocket and pulled them out only to look at them and realize I only had our Jecheon-Seoul ticket not the return ones. I realized when we had walked out of the train station I had accidentally deposited our return tickets in the bin. Panic struck me again when I realized I'd have to explain this to someone who only spoke Korean. He told me to write it down and I did as simply as I could. He finally understood and wrote a few things on our tickets and walked on. WHEW! another bullet dodged!

Relaxing and catching our breath after a couple of close calls with the 8pm train home to Jecheon.

Korail, the train of choice when exploring Korea!

Until next time...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rotisserie Chicken, Oven Cheese Spaghetti, and a Nori Bong!

What do all of these things have in common? We enjoyed them all in the past 24 hours. Friday night we decided to finally to try a rotisserie chicken place we've walked past on a regular basis. The chickens are very small not like the chicken's you get at Meijer that now seem to us to be on steroids. Despite their tininess their skin was super crispy and the very little meat there was, was very tasty. It cost 11,000W (about $9.50USD) not super cheap but not bad really considering it was enough for one meal for the both of us if we added some sides. We'll definitely being getting another.

An optical illusion...

It's not much bigger then the can of Pepsi that was included.

There was also a handful of roasted garlic cloves inside the chicken which were delicious.

Today we slept in, if felt sooo good. I spent sometime chatting with my family then we headed out for a bit to enjoy the day. I needed to go to a pharmacy to see how I could get my asthma meds here. Surprisingly the pharmacist just down the street spoke enough English to explain to me that I would need to get a Korean prescription for the inhaler and that they would then have to order it as they don't stock it, as I suspected. But it was at least a huge relief to find out I will most likely be able to get it here. Now I just have to go to a Korean doc and explain this, that should be utterly difficult.

Next, we popped into a coffee shop and I managed to order a latte and it was actually delightful. There was an actual espresso machine and the sound of steaming milk was music to my ears! Nothing out of a packet there. MMM! We headed downtown to find a snack and waste a little time before our dinner appointment. We wandered into BANG BANG a clothing store and I found a steal on a cute silver sequined top that would goes over leggings, so cute! Normal price 63,000W I got it for 19,000!!! Score one for Amy's closet! (ok, not really I just have a few drawers but I'll make it fit somewhere.)

As we headed downtown we wandered down an alley to scope out some restaurants for future testing. We happened upon a snack place and tried a potato that was fried in a spiral on a stick then rolled in your choice of flavored powders; cheese, onion, or red pepper. We opted for the cheese and wow was that a nice little treat for 1,000W.

Here's Ben with the cheesey-potato-swirl-on-a-stick.

The potato swirl awoke our hunger and we decided we needed to eat more so we were going to split a meal. To be honest we were VERY nervous about our Korean dinner hosts tonite and the meal we would have to eat so we did the dishonorable thing of eating before we went to dinner. We walked another 15 feet down the alley and decided to try Han's Deli because we could actually read the menu being in English and having delightful pictures of all the food. Tt looked quite good or at least we hoped.

We ordered "oven cheese spaghetti", an order of garlic bread, and a coke to share and all for 8,000W. It was absolutely delicious. The spaghetti sauce was actually tomato-y and even a little creamy and it had mushrooms, onions, carrots, and garlic in it with toasted cheese on top. The garlic bread also was fabulous, salty, garlicy, and buttery just the way it should be. The meal was far better then we could have imagined so we'll definitely be going back.

Ben getting ready to enjoy spaghetti.


A look around Han's Deli.

After our pre-dinner we headed home. On the way we spotted another coffee shop and thought we'd cross the street to check it out. There was car parked in front of it so we had to walk in front of another shop to get to it. As we did that a lady was standing at the door smiling and said Hi! Come in! in English. We were kind of surprised and tried to turn her down because we thought for sure she would just try and get us to buy something we didn't want. So we peeked into the coffee shop that ended up not being so exciting.

The lady just seemed so nice and she invited us in again so we obliged and went to check out her tiny shop. The second we stepped in the door she gave us these small bottles of yogurt an said "calorie down, good for you", meaning its low-cal and good for you. Not sure if she said this because she thought we were fat or something or what. She was just excited to give us anything for some reason. She wasn't being fake either, she was just genuinely being kind.

The store had a completely random assortment things from blankets to underwear to soy sauce. We looked around her store politely and she told us every word she knew in English. As we looked at the bottles of soy sauce she said "sample sample!" and handed each of us a small bottle soy sauce. After that we needed to head home. We left not purchasing anything but with the intention that we would return her favor by coming back and purchasing something. Her random but genuine kindness was definitely refreshing.

Precisely at 5:30pm our JW friends knocked on our door ready to pick us up and take us to their home for dinner. The live quite close only few blocks away in a very small apartment considering four people live there. We were very warmly and excitedly greeted by the entire family. They lead us into the dining/bed room where we saw a feast had been laid out for us. We planted ourselves on the floor around the table and she brought out several more dishes including rice and seaweed soup.

Here's only part of the spread.

Here are a few of the dishes: galbi(a pork, potato, and carrot like stew), Jap-Chey (rice noodles usually only made for special occasions),egg rolls, Kim Bap Nora (seaweed and rice and other stuff rolls), sweet/sour meatballs, non-fermented Kimchee (still spicy but MUCH better then the rotting kind).

For dessert she served strawberry and grape yogurt and a fruit platter of apples and bananas. They also offered us beer and Makkoli (rice wine). I tried a little of the Makkoli to be polite expecting it to be horrid but it was actually much better then Soju. If I had a gun to my head and force to choose I'd hands down take the Makkoli although its not something I'll run out and purchase a bottle of.

After dinner we chatted and the Mrs. wanted to take a picture so we obliged, I was glad we got to capture this memorable evening of food and friendship. It was by far the best meal we've ever had and probably will ever have in Korea. We were truly honored to have been guests in their humble home. The Mrs. even offered to come over and teach me to make a few traditional Korean dishes as I mentioned I like to cook. I definitely be taking her up on that and expand my cooking skills and recipes to include a few traditional Korean recipes.

My only regret was that we had pre-dinner, I would have loved to stuff more of this great food in. However, I'm not exactly bummed that we found a great little place to get some good cheap tasty food. All around today was a win-win for team Ben and Amy in the food department. It appears we've turned a corner are glad to say we now legitimately enjoy several Korean foods.

After a long dinner they asked us if we wanted to go to a Nori-Bong (karaoke room) and we happily said YES! We had wanted to go since we got here but the opportunity hadn't yet presented itself and we weren't about to try it on our own.

Talk about a fun time this whole karaoke thing was much more fun then we anticipated! It started off a little rough but we got better. They were absolutely wonderful singers and put us to shame with the first song. It was kind of awkward because it seemed like the pace was slower then how we were used to hearing or singing the songs so we were just off and had trouble finding the beat. But the more we sang the better we got. We ended our time with a lovely duet of Ben and I singing I Believe I Can Fly.

The song selection book.

Our private Nori-Bong room with a disco ball and all!


Over all it was a surprisingly fantastic day and tomorrow is going to be more of the same. We are heading out early tomorrow morning for a day in Seoul with Ian and Casey. We're all very much looking forward to going to a Pub with a menu full of things we desperately miss. Ben is psyched for Krispy Kreme donuts and I'm aching for a grande vanilla latte! Fun times in Korea!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A little bit of everything

Today has been a little bit of a rough day and I just wasn't feeling up to writing about it all so I thought I'd keep things light by posting some pics I've taken in the past couple days.

My dinner tonite, carmelized banana pancakes mmmm! I needed some comfort food and this was the only thing I could think if making.

My dinner last nite, chicken and veggie curry (Korean style). It wasn't bad but not exactly the nice spicy smoky Indian flavor I was hoping for.

Some candy I thought I'd try right to left: Herb candy and Bamboo salt candy which is actually quite tasty.

Check out the carrots in the bag, they are BLACK and dirty straight from the ground to the store to my curry! The curry "sauce" come in blocks. I tried to dissolve it in water before I dumped it in and it didn't dissolve but it at least smelled like curry. The little containers are pumpkin porridge with honey, it just sounded yummy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What not to do with your hair: Korean Haircuts

Our weekend was fairly quiet, and thankfully so after a long week. Friday night we stayed in, the cold is getting old especially when we walk everywhere and I get sick of having to put on and take off 3-4 layers throughout the day. Besides it just seemed like too much effort to go out and wander around town only to find that everything is closed. So we did the usual ordered Domino's pizza, which Ben has become quite proficient at, and watched a movie.

Saturday we slept in a bit then had some visitors. Allow me to rewind and provide a little history... last week Ben was awoken by knocking at the door just after I had left for Danyang. Understandably he thought it was me, thinking I had forgotten my key or something, so he jumped out of bed in his boxers and ran to the door. The thought then occurred to him that if it wasn't me he better put on some clothes, so he did. He answered the door to find a man and a woman. They simply asked if "Amy Nanney" was there, and poor Ben almost had a heart attack thinking something was wrong. They then explained they were Jehovah's Witness' and that they had sent two women a few weeks ago to which I had had "spoken" with, I say thing because they spoke zero English. I wrote about my encounter with them in an earlier blog.

They went on to explain that the women had told them I had been kind to them so they wanted to return and talk to us both. So Ben invited them in to sit on the floor and chat. They were there for about 20 minutes and then asked if they could return with some info and at a time when I would be home also. Ben agreed and the time was set for Saturday at noon.

Promptly at noon a middle aged man and his daughter arrived at our home. I welcomed them in, took their coats, and offered them Korean tea and oranges (being this was my first time hosting Koreans in my home this was the most Korean thing I knew to do). We all planted ourselves on the floor and they began to ask us some specific yet simple get-to-know-you questions. It was incredibly awkward for probably a variety of reasons but none in particular. We thought they were here to talk to us about their beliefs yet for the entire hour and a bit they were here they did not once say a word about why they had supposedly come. I must admit, we did do some research before they came because truthfully we were not too informed about the beliefs of the JW's.

Sufficed to say it was an awkward little meeting and we were a bit disappointed we didn't get to dive into any deep conversation. I think we were nervous but excited to get a chance to share our faith and when it didn't happen, it was disappointing. Near the end of it all they asked us if we would be guests in their home for dinner so that we could experience more Korean food. They assured us his wife/her mother was a very good cook. Our mouthes said yes before our heads even had a chance to think it over. By the end of it all we were thoroughly confused by what had just taken place, perhaps we were/are just over thinking it all. We'll let you know what happens this weekend.

On Sunday we slept in for real, woke-up, had breakfast, did our church, and then headed out for haircuts with Ian and Casey at Emart. I had been excited about this for 2 weeks now. Dying to get a haircut and just feel refreshed and maybe even a little pampered. I thought this place looked decent because it was brand new, clean, and used a nice name brand product line(Tigi) so I thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a try, or at least I was willing to ahead of anything else I'd seen.

Four Americans walk into a Korean hair saloon to get haircuts... there has to be a joke in there somewhere... only 2 out of 4 came out looking better then they did before.

Excitedly I volunteered to go first, I had printed out a picture of V.Beck's "Pob" (for all you saying huh?!?! Victoria Beckham's bob hair cut, its a classic I've had several times). I picked it for its simplicity and the fact that I would not need drastic changes to achieve the look. So I handed over the picture along with my list of words I'd translated to help the process. My stylist looked at the picture grabbed my hair, and scrunching it said "No no!!!". I was like umm, NO?!!!! I then, forgetting I was in Korea, not America the land of the customer is always right, said YES! why not?

I was then whisked off to get my hair washed and viciously patted dry (same procedure for Ben and they pat never rub). He then brushed my hair very gently, almost oddly, as if he wasn't sure what to do. Then I started getting nervous. He kept looking at the picture and then my hair. I noticed that when my hair had been 'washed' there were parts that had not even gotten wet, she had avoided messing with my part when she washed it!

Sidenote************just heard the rat/monster like thing in the wall just above me as I was typing, we're attempting to record it and we'll post it if we can capture it well enough.***********************

He then picked up a pair of scissors and began sniping at the nape of my neck. By the looks of the hair falling off I knew he wasn't doing something right. When I get a hair cut I can usually make a wig with all the hair that is left on the floor. After he finished that he again looked puzzled as to what to do next. He proceeded to trim the tiniest bit of my ends all around. He sternly said one word to his little assistant and she handed him the blow dryer then turn on the straight iron. A 30 second hair cut and now he was blow drying my hair like I was a crazy person going to a rock concert. They only size of round brush they have here is itty bitty. So he partially blow dried my hair then began to straight iron for the next 25 minutes.

He worked his way to the front of my head and I asked him again if he could cut my bangs. At first he resisted then picked up the scissors and I attempted to showed him what I wanted, sweeping cheek length bangs. He grabbed a chunk, and I do mean CHUNK of hair and gave it a few wacks... I almost died. I panicked and grabbed my hair back and again tried to show him what I wanted when apparently the light bulb came on and he said AAAAAAASH!!! Oh no! meaning oh crap I messed up. At that point I began wondering why I had ever been excited about this. In the end my hair looks fairly the same except when it grows out a little more I'll have a mullet in the back and mushroom in the front and my bangs are cut completely at he wrong angle but oh well.

Ben's hair cut was mildly funny as well. He spent a good 20 minutes cutting and it I watched the back of his hair grow shorter and shorter... he now has some serious white spots where he used to have hair. The front was hardly touched and his sideburns are also gone. How we ended up with a guy obviously terrified of cutting Migukan hair is beyond me. He looked like he should have known what he was doing, he was well dressed, very outgoing, and just had an all around I'm a good stylest vibe about him, but boy was I wrong!

The best part of the whole experience was that it only cost us BOTH 30,000W for haircut, wash, and style! At first I thought he said 50,000 and I thought ok, not bad, I was willing to dish it out. By the end I was glad it was way less then that because it was definitely not what I had in mind at all.

Ian and Casey walked out looking great! Casey got a great cut but she didn't exactly fancy his styling technic of blow drying her naturally curly hair. And Ian's stylist also was very afraid of going as short as he wanted but it worked out in the end.

After that fiasco, Casey and I decided to try the Nail Zone next door and get our nails done, it to being incredibly cheap. They did a fantastic job! Casey got a major job on her cuticles, they spent at least 25 minutes working on them scraping and buffing until she had brand new hands and then they polished them to a tee! Having seen a little girl peering over my arm to see what color I was getting on my nails I looked a her nails and saw she had the most adorable nail art. She had lavender background with white polk-a-dots and teddy bears on them. She sas probably no more then 5 or 6 and had tiny little nails. It was just adorable and I had to try it myself.

On top of my pool blue color I asked for flowers on my pinkies. These nail chicks are just pure artists. She dabbed on white dots and use a wooden stick to shape them with incredible detail. She then put dot of silver sparkle in the middle to top it off. That was definitely something I would do on a regular basis as it was quite cheap at 10,000W for a mani and 25,000W for a pedi. And do they ever get at the dry skin and cuticles its great, and Casey didn't bleed once which was a good sign. We're both have fairly sensitive skin but I was too nervous to have someone cut my cuticles.

While we were getting out nails done the boys did a little shopping and Ben found a great deal on a really nice coat.

Well, thats about it for today. Ta-ta for now!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

There is something in our walls!

Well just in case anyone is wondering what is going on with us, I am happy to say not very much at all. The last couple of days have been very uninteresting and things have began to slow down for the both of us.

I love teaching, its a big difference from the corporate mindset and it is such a welcomed break. Also, I haven't driven a car in a month and I don't miss one minute of traffic. Sure there are very limited quantities of food I can eat, and no one seems to understand what I'm saying, but I like the slower pace of things. It's also not very individualistic over here. Instead its more about community and relationships, and while I am an individual to my core, I can't help but welcome the genuine concern for others. I surprised myself, because I really didn't think I would like it this much. And I realize I am in the honeymoon stage, but still I am just so happy we decided to make the move.

Today though something very odd happened. We heard something that I think would scare the life out of most. There was little feet, or now that I think about it maybe not so little, walking in our walls. While we never saw the monster, all I know is that I will never be the same. At first I just assured myself that it was nothing, but there was just no denying it, as it left our bedroom and than entered our bathroom and than the kitchen and finally silence. Amy and I just looked at each other speechless.

However, we quickly recovered and finished off the night on a strong point with some more delicious potato soup and hopes that the monster was simply passing by. I will open a poll for everyone to vote on what you think the monster is. Hopefully, you can help us get to the bottom of this. Tomorrow we are off for hair cuts and hopefully fondue! We will keep you updated.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heartbreak for Haiti

Today I just wanted to write a little about what is going on right now and how its affected me. The happenings of our day can not compare with what is going on right now in Haiti. So with that allow me to share with you a few things from my heart.

I have to say that over the past 48 hours watching the news has has brought me to tears more then once. As I sat on the floor tonight eating my dinner, consisting of a fried egg, fried potatoes, and a sliced apple with shmears of peanut butter, it once again hit me just how blessed and privileged I am. I sat there on a heated floor with plenty of food (yet in my head complaining because I had to cook it) a warm bed, a sanitary bathroom, and money in my pocket to spare. We have so much and I truly think that 99.9% of Americans (including myself) take this for granted 100% of each and every day; or at least they do until something happens to threaten it all.

As I sat there on the floor watching the pictures, video clips, and sound bites tears began streaming down my face. I sat there listening to the cries of human beings trapped, unable to free themselves from the massive piles of rubble. Hands desperately waving out of the crevices to let someone... anyone know they are still alive and need to be rescued.

There is nothing quite like the desperate cry of a child who is lost, hurt, afraid, and confused. Pictures of children dead in the streets while their siblings and surviving family wail and mourn. Mothers carry their injured children only to get to the demolished hospital and find there is no help. It's all just a horrifying nightmare.

The news anchors say just send your money, its the best and only thing you can do right now. I hate money. It's the root of all evil yet if put in the right hands can impact so many. What if I send money to an organization and some how my act of kindness gets taken advantage of? Then I think oh well, who cares, it was never mine to begin with. I've simply been entrusted with it to do with as HE would have done; and that most definitely includes helping the hungry, the poor, the needy, the sick, the disaster stricken.

So here is a challenge to myself and our family and friends; recognizing all that we have, it being so incredibly much more in comparison to so many in this world lets first and foremost pray for the people of Haiti, pray for the rescue workers, pray for those who had nothing to begin with yet lost everything in the death of family members; and secondly lets give, give of the wealth that we have, give to people who are in desperate need of what we can give.

I realize not everyone has the means to give money but we all have something to give in our thoughts and prayers. Here is where Ben and I participated with a donation if you would like to join us. If you do, please let us know we'd like to thank-you on behalf of those who can't.

Samaritan's Purse | Haiti | Emergency Relief |Catastrophic Earthquake Hits Haiti

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surprise Surprise!!!

So far this week has been very busy and it seems we're struggling again to find a new routine or at least one that accommodates both our schedules. On Monday I started helping out at school in Danyang also owned and run by Director Lee. This involves me commuting everyday which can get frustrating when you can't read the bus schedule. I leave home at 9:30a catch a cab to the bus terminal, then take the 10:15 bus to Danyang. I'm done at school at 2:40p to catch the 2:55p bus back to Jecheon, and then a cab. Meanwhile Ben gets up and going about 10am and off to school at 1:45p and doesn't come home until 9:30ish. So we just miss each other coming and going to school. It also affects your meal schedule. I try to grab breakfast or something because if I don't I won't get to eat until I get home around 4p. Ben's school has dinner catered in each evening so thats nice but its not always 100% edible if you know what I mean being classic Korean food.

Teacher Ben had a very full day today as well. He had 5-50 minute classes and hardly had time to eat dinner so he came home STARVING and practically ate me out of house and home. So hungry in fact that decided to use up his one-pizza-per-week on a Tuesday. Hope the rest of the week is better.

And now for the surprise... when Ben came home he had a box in his hand...drum roll please......

Finally our box arrived from my parents, they sent some stuff back with a Korean exchange student who had gone home for Christmas! Finally... 4 weeks after Christmas we got our first box.

To you all of these items seem very ordinary like packages of soup mix or seasonings, M&M's, or even hot chocolate. A box of 3 packets that each make about a shot glass size drink of hot choc. here costs about 10,000W or about $8-9 here at the groc store, ridiculous!!!So to say the least we were soooo excited to finally get a few treats from home, THANK"S MOM and DAD!!!

Thats about it for today, I'm wiped and need to head to bed its up early for me these days at 8:30am ; ) hahaha just thought I'd throw that out there. I have to say I don't miss the days of having to get up for work at 6:30am, hope my car starts in the below freezing temps, and then drive an hour through epic traffic. And 8:30am is by far the earliest I've been up since we moved here. Since Ben works late we tend to stay up late then sleep in, it just bumps everything back since he works from 2pm-10pm.

Oh and thanks to all of you who read this blog, its been fun writing and posting pics and hearing your thoughts about life here. Please don't be shy with the comments either. Its nice to know so many people care so much about us to read this. Love ya'll! G'nite!