Saturday, January 30, 2010


Our busy month continues and frankly, I'm kind of counting down the days until order is restored to our house and we don't have a million things going on!

Today we took the kids to Dirk, my photography teacher, for family photos. I have been trying desperately to get good pictures of Clarissa for weeks, and she is just such a busy kid that I can't get her to sit still long enough to get good photos. I figured that Dirk might have better luck because she usually gets quiet around strangers, so I thought she might sit still for him.

Unfortunately that was not the case, so it was a wild afternoon at the photo studio! We did photos of the whole family first and I think that he managed to get a few cute ones, but Clarissa was pretty much done sitting still for photos after that, so trying to get the rest of the photos that I wanted was pretty tough!

The photo that was most important to me today was her hanbok portrait. Every baby gets their picture taken in their hanbok for their first birthday and I know that the foster mother and my Korean friends would really love a hanbok portrait of her. We wrangled her into her hanbok and Dirk has the cutest little chair that we sat her on and after a little struggle to get Clarissa to sit still I'm pretty sure that we managed a good portrait. Whew!

I'm going to go over later this week and look at everything Dirk got and I'm really excited to see them. I think despite the fact that Clarissa wanted nothing to do with getting her picture taken he managed to get a few cute ones. Clarissa is so freakin' CUTE that I want to take her picture a million times a day, but she hates it. She's super happy and smiley all day long, but the camera comes out and the smiles dissapear for some reason. If I do manage to get her to sit still for a picture, most of the time she looks very serious, and she rarely looks that serious in person! She's a total goofball in person, I love her funny personality. Hopefully the older she gets the better she'll do for photos. I'm dying for summer to get here so that I can take her outside and take pictures.

I was seriously so exhausted by the time the picture taking was done today that I came home, we got Clarissa down for a nap and then I took a nap. I felt like I had been wrestling alligators for a few hours, lol.

Tomorrow we have a bunch of things going on. Church in the morning, then a friend from out of town is coming to visit, then I have a church meeting in the afternoon and in the evening I have MORE out of town friends coming to visit! For some reason my friends have all come to town this weekend! YAY!

Then this coming week is the week that I get Clarissa's birthday party together. We're having it next Saturday night. I'm looking forward to the party but it's been tricky to plan it because I'm trying to do a Korean themed party and it's been hard to get my hands on Korean food and decorations. Some of the Korean food I can make, but there are a few authentic things that are really tricky to make and the ingredients are impossible to find, but fortunately I found a Korean market that is ordering things for me. They're getting me Korean pears (YAY!) and they're making a big tray of rice cakes, which I've never tried but sound yummy! When we hear rice cakes we think of those hard crunchy things with no flavor, but Korean rice cakes are completely different.

I think it's going to be a fun party but this week is going to be really busy trying to get everything together. Traditionally Korean first birthday parties are HUGE and you invite everyone you know, which is what I really wanted to do in the beginning, but then I had to really talk myself down and be realistic about what I can put together right now. So we're doing the traditional Korean first birthday party on a much smaller scale with just a few close friends. It should be fun, I'm looking forward to it!

The party is Saturday night and then Sunday Melissa is going home. We'll be sad to see her go, we've had a really good time with her. I hope that she's going home with lots of good memories of her time in America. We really tried to make it a fun experience for her. When we were having family photos done today we took a couple with her in it, so when I get them back I'm going to have one framed for her to keep to remember us. I hope that we get to see her again someday. I would love to keep in touch with her family.

January has been a really busy month for us, and it's been fun but I'm really looking forward to an uneventful February. We don't have a whole lot going on in February, and that sounds good to me! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Clarissa update!

It occured to me that I haven't given an update about Clarissa on my blog lately! I've had so much to talk about with all that is going on here these days that I haven't talked about what this blog was intended to be about in the first place.

Everything is going absolutely amazing with Clarissa! I feel so blessed to have her in our family. As far as the adjustment to our family, she's done amazing, the only issue she still struggles with is sleeping. She sleeps fine as long as someone is sleeping next to her on the floor. At some point we need to address that, but for the moment we're just having a nightly slumber party with her. With my other kids at this age I would be OK with letting them cry it out for very short periods and get used to sleeping alone, but I just can't do that with Clarissa! Every time I think about it I wory that she's going to think that another set of parents have left her. I'm WAY overthinking it, but Clarissa pretty much has me wrapped around her finger. :) Surely she's not going to be going off to college with us still sleeping on the floor by her at night, right?!

Other than that, she's really not showing any sign of attachment issues, she's bonding with us really well and is showing all the signs of healthy attachment that I obsessively studied before she got here and continue to go over.

I've started putting her hair in pig tails every day and I love it. I'm having a ball having a little girl in the house! All the cute clothes and the hair things and all of that are way fun and until now I didn't think I was a girly girl, lol. It's been really fun to have Melissa in the house because she gets all excited about it with me. We both have a good time picking out Clarissa's clothes in the morning.

Clarissa is growing more each day and it's really fun to watch her hit new milestones and learn new things. She is pulling herself up on furniture now and walks around holding onto things, but it looks like she's probably still at least a month or more away from walking. I've caught her standing without holding on to anything for very short times when she doesn't realize that she's doing it, but if I try to practice that with her she suddenly gets jello legs and doesn't want to play, lol.

She's starting to say a few words, but you kind of have to know that she's saying it in order to understand it. For instance, she says the word "kitty", and I know she's saying kitty because she points and makes the same sound every time she sees the cat, and it sounds sort of like "keeey", but if you weren't used to hearing it and didn't know that's what she's saying, you probably wouldn't recognize it as kitty. She also says "Josh" (her favorite person in the world!) but it sounds sort of like "eeesh" and you wouldn't recognize it unless you saw her point at Josh and say it a hundred times. She's starting to copy sounds that we make and it's fun to watch her try out new words. She waves and says "hi!", which I love! She likes to wave to people.

One thing I've noticed about having a daughter as opposed to having boys is that they play with toys differently. Our boys had some stuffed animals when they were Clarissa's age and they would chew on them and throw them and play rough with them. Clarissa has a couple of dolls and a teddy bear and she'll pick them up and hug them and pat their backs. She's so gentle with them. It's so sweet, I love to watch her play with her dolls.

I haven't posted many pictures of her lately because it's seriously impossible to take that kids picture these days! She is obsessed with my camera and every time she sees it she wants to grab it. So I have all sorts of photos of her crawling towards me with her hand out trying to get my camera and that's pretty much it! Every time I see her doing something cute I try to quietly get the camera and take a photo and she catches me every time. I'm actually going to take her to my photography teacher and have him do some professional photos of her because I think she'll sit still better if I'm not the one behind the camera. She clams up a little when there are strangers around, so I don't think she'll try to crawl into his lap and grab his camera! :)

Sometimes I still can't believe that we went to Korea three months ago and came home with a baby!! We waited for so long and for so long I would just ache to have her home. I remember all the days I sat in her bedroom and folded and refolded her clothes and tried to imagine what it would be like to have her home. After a while it seemed like it was never actually going to happen, like it was just a story I made up or something. But now that she's here it's almost the opposite-it feels like all that waiting was just a dream. It feels like she's been here forever.

I know without a doubt that Clarissa was meant to join our family. I know that it was God's plan that we were put together, and I'm grateful for her every single day. It's still amazing to me that we went halfway around the world and came back with the person who fits our family perfectly. I don't believe that it was random. Clarissa belongs with us.

Last Christmas when I was taking the boys Christmas Eve photo I remember looking at the two of them and just feeling so strongly that there was someone missing. Our family was wonderful before Clarissa arrived but I always had the feeling that there was a missing piece. This Christmas when I was taking the Christmas Eve photo and there were three beautiful children sitting there I looked at them and my heart was so full. My family feels whole now and that's a beautiful feeling.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The package arrived!!

Ever since I found out that Melissa's parents mailed us a package I've been stalking the front door! It finally arrived at about noon and I couldn't be more thrilled with it's contents!

I'm blown away by their generosity! She sent Josh and Matthew absolutely GORGEOUS hanboks. Hanboks are traditional Korean outfits that Koreans wear on certain holidays and for special occasions. They're made of silk with very intricate embroidery and designs and they're absolutely beautiful. We looked at lots of them while we were in Korea and I even thought about buying one for Josh and Matthew but I never did.

Melissa's parents were really happy when they found out that we're having a Dol party for Clarissa. A Dol (or sometimes spelled Tol) is a traditional Korean first birthday party. Long ago when Korea was a very poor country, babies often died before their first birthday, so when a baby lived to their first birthday they celebrated it with a really big party. It's become an important tradition to Koreans and to this day every baby gets a special Dol party when they turn one. I'll be talking more about the specifics of Dol parties as the big day gets closer, but my point of the story is that Dol parties are one of the events where hanboks are traditionally worn.

Clarissa has a beautiful hanbok that was given to us by her foster mother but Melissa's parents were concerned that Josh and Matthew wouldn't have a hanbok to wear to the party, and Melissa also didn't have her hanbok for the party.

So today the package shows up on my doorstep and they bought beautiful hanboks for the boys and they sent Melissa's hanbok. They also sent Clarissa a Korean childrens TV show on DVD, they sent me and Shawn a Korean movie and they sent a bunch of Korean food, like instant ramen, some herbal tea and seaweed strips like the ones we ate in Korea.

For someone who loves all things Korean as much as I do, getting that package today was like Christmas morning! I've been giddy about it all afternoon. The kids aren't home yet, but they're going to be really excited to see their hanboks when they get here.

I took a few photos of the boys hanboks, but it will be easier to get good pictures when my kids are actually wearing them. Those photos will follow later! :)

Update: Matthew came home and was really excited to try on his hanbok! He said it makes him look like a "karate guy". Thus the pose. :)

Josh is at scouts, so he'll have to try his on later! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Melissa!

I just got the kids off to school and they're excited to celebrate Melissa's birthday tonight. Last night we made her a cake and she had a good time helping. She told me the name of all the ingredients in Korean as we added them, which I had a fun time with!

In our house you get to choose what you want for dinner on her birthday, so I told Melissa to pick anything she wanted and she chose spaghetti. So tonight we'll be having spaghetti, which sounds good to me! We'll also open a few presents and eat cake and hopefully learn how to sing Happy Birthday in Korean. I'm looking forward to it!

I'm super excited about an e-mail I got from Melissa's parents this morning!! I've kind of struck up an e-mail friendship with her parents since she's been here. They are the nicest people and I love getting e-mail from them. This morning when I woke up there was an e-mail from her dad letting me know that they mailed a box of presents for Melissa's birthday and for our family!! One of the things I'm most excited about is that they sent us hanboks for Josh and Matthew!!

Hanboks are the traditional outfits that Koreans wear for special events, including the traditional Korean first birthday party that we're doing for Clarissa in a few weeks. Clarissa has a beautiful hanbok that her foster mother gave to us, but the boys don't have one. I'm absolutely THRILLED about them getting one!! How fun!! I can't wait to get them all dressed up in their hanboks so I can take their picture! :)

The e-mail said that they're also sending a birthday present for Clarissa and a Korean movie for me and Shawn!! I'm seriously going to be stalking the mailbox until the package arrives, lol. That's so incredibly nice of them, I have absolutely loved getting to know Melissa's family. I really hope that someday we can all meet in person. I love having friends in Korea, the next time we go back to visit we're going to have lot of people to see! Between Jin-Ha and her family, the foster parents, our awesome tourguide we've kept in touch with and Melissa's family, we have lots of friends to visit in Korea.

Oh! I have to tell this story! Here's your Korean culture lesson for the day. :) Last night we made Melissa's birthday cake and I'm planning to frost it and decorate it today while Melissa is at school. I got a tube of red frosting with a little tip on it to write "Happy Birthday Melissa" on the cake. When Melissa saw the tube of red frosting she got a concerned look on her face and said "in America does it mean anything when you write someone's name in red??" OOOPS!! I totally forgot about Koreans rule about red! In Korea red signifies death. You don't write someone's name in red unless you're wishing death on them, lol. Not exactly appropriate for her birthday cake!! I'm SO glad that she told me before she came home from school and found her name written in red on her cake. I'll be coming up with a different color before I decorate the cake. :)

For now I'm off to get the house cleaned up while Clarissa is taking her nap and then I've really got to start planning her birthday party! I can't believe that it's coming up in a few weeks! YAY! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back from vacation

We had a pretty busy weekend! It was a good time, I'm glad that we did it. I worried about it being too crazy with four kids in a hotel room, but it wasn't. Well, it was a LITTLE crazy, but still survivable. :)

Friday we did the elk feeding trip. (For Beck and whoever else is interested, the website for the elk feeding is There's not much info on the website, but you can call them for reservations.)

Here are some photos we took:

Saturday we took the kids skiing. Growing up in Idaho I've been surrounded by skiers and skiing my whole life, but somehow I've never actually been skiing myself. I remember on Monday mornings in high school you could always tell who had been skiing that weekend because of the goggle shaped sunburns on their faces (or occasionally by a cast and crutches...). Anyway, Shawn and I both commented this weekend that it was weird that we've never been skiing. It was time for us to go check out a ski resort.

The one we went to was in a cute little town called McCall. We've been to McCall in the summer but never in the winter. In the summer there's not a lot going on there, except that there's a beautiful lake there where people go to do some boating, but in the winter the place is packed with skiiers! It was fun to get to see it when it's so busy.

McCall is two hours away from Boise and when we left Boise on Friday there was absolutely no snow on the ground at all and the sun was out, but it was fun to take the drive into the mountains and watch as there was a little snow, and then a little more, and then a little more...and by the time we got to McCall we were looking at FEET of snow on the ground! I haven't seen that much snow in a long time!

We made the winding drive up the mountain to the ski resort and got the kids checked into ski school. They have an awesome program there for kids, I was really impressed with it. We signed them up for a half day class and they had a really great time! It was fun to see them all bundled up in their ski gear. I took a zillion pictures, of course! Here are a few, including a couple with Melissa in them, which I decided I'm OK posting since her ski goggles cover up part of her face. I just always feel weird posting photos of other peoples kids on my blog, since some people aren't comfortable with it.

As you can see, it was snowing like crazy! While the kids were skiing we were planning to go back into McCall and wander around the shops for a while, but once we got up there and it was snowing so much we decided that we didn't want to make the trek down the mountain and back up again so we just hung out at the ski lodge with Clarissa for a while. It was fun to sit and watch people skiing out the window. I've never been that interested in learning to ski, but after watching it for a while I think I might have changed my mind! It looks like so much fun! The boys really enjoyed learning to ski, so I think we may just have to give skiing another try one of these days.

The kids got done with their ski class at 1:00 and we made the drive back down the mountain and back to our hotel. We thought the kids would be exhausted, but they weren't so we took them swimming at the hotel pool for a while, which they enjoyed.

Yesterday morning we got our stuff packed up, said goodbye to the snow and drove back to Boise. All in all it was a really fun trip! I was kind of worn out by the end of it, but the kids really had a great time and that was our goal, so I'd say it was a sucess!

Today the kids were out of school for the holiday so we took the kids to the movies. We found a really cool theater in a town near here! It's a theater/restaurant. They have a whole restaurant menu and you order your food when you pay for your movie tickets and then you go into the theater where they've taken out every other row of seats and added tables. So you sit in a theater seat with a table in front of you and when the movie starts they bring your food to your table, so you can eat your meal while you watch the movie. It was actually really fun and different and the movie tickets were only $3, so it was actually cheaper for us to buy movie tickets and lunch there than it is for us to buy movie tickets and popcorn at the fancy theater. We're definitely going to do that again sometime! We saw Planet 51, which was pretty cute.

Tomorrow the kids go back to school and I'm looking forward to a little peace and quiet again! We've spoiled the crap out of the kids this month since Melissa has been here. I think they're going to be sorely dissapointed next month when Melissa goes home and we're not running off on vacations and to movies and arcades every five minutes! This is definitely not normal for us.

It's fun for now though and we've enjoyed having Melissa here. Wednesday is her birthday and we're planning a little party for her. She asked me if I would make her a birthday cake (which I had planned on anyway) and then she asked if she could help me make it, so I think tomorrow night we'll be making a birthday cake. Fun! For her birthday I bought her the game Sorry, which she has loved playing here and the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" because she's asked to watch that movie a million times since she's been here. Hopefully those will be fun reminders of her trip to America that she can enjoy when she goes back to Korea.

So that's pretty much all the news from our house! It's bedtime now and I'm looking forward to getting everyone in bed and enjoying a quiet house for a while. I'm tired!! :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mountain adventure, day one

We made it to the mountains and we're having lots of fun on our little getaway! We're staying at the CUTEST hotel, I really love it here! We've driven past this hotel several times when we've been up here and I've heard about it but we've never stayed. It's really cute and perfect for our little weekend excursion.

When we got up here this morning we went straight to the elk feeding place. That was the coolest experience!! We sat on a big sled that was pulled by horses and the seats on the sled are big bales of hay. They pulled us through the trees to a big field where a herd of wild elk live. As soon as the elk saw us coming they came running! Suddenly we were surrounded by a huge heard of elk and they gathered around to eat the hay from the sled. It was incredible, I've never been so close to elk before. They weren't the slightest big afraid of the people on the sled, they were basically eating the seats we were sitting on!

I love being out in nature and I love animals, so it was a really awesome experience for me. Getting to sit there while elk were eating practially in my lap was really cool! We had mixed reactions from the kids though! Josh loves animals as much as I do so he had a ball. Matthew was really scared of the elk at first so he just kept trying to sit as far away as possible from them for a while, but he eventually warmed up and was OK when he decided that they really were just there to eat the hay, not the people in the sled. :) Melissa really liked the elk but being a city girl she wasn't so thrilled about sitting on hay! She was worried about getting dirty and it didn't help when an elk sneezed on her, lol. She was a great sport though, I think she had fun. Clarissa had a good time and kept pointing at the elk and saying "kitty!" Kitty is one of the few words she can say and it's also the only animal she's really familiar with so she pretty much thinks every animal is a kitty. :)

When the elk decided they were full we rode the sled back to the parking area and our adventure was over. I really had a good time and it's definitely on our list of things to do again!

After that we went back into town, found a little diner to eat at for lunch and then came back and got settled at the hotel. At the moment the kids are sitting in the little living room area playing board games with Shawn and I'm hanging out in the bedroom area with Clarissa, who is taking a nap. In a little bit we're going to go down to the pool and go swimming and then we're going to get a good nights sleep because the kids have ski school tomorrow! Fun!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Girls night!!

We've done a lot of elaborate activites with Melissa since she's been here and today's activity was probably the least elaborate and my favorite so far!

Shawn and the boys had a Scout pack meeting tonight so I knew it was just going to be us girls at home. I decided that occasion called for a girls night!! :)

Before Shawn and the boys had to leave we had a little time so I left everyone at home and took Melissa shopping. I just had some errands to run so it was nothing too exciting, but we went to Target and wandered around for a while and we had so much fun!

We looked at shoes and baby clothes and she helped me pick out an outfit for Clarissa and then we just wandered around and looked at cute girly things for a while. Is this what it's like to have a daughter? I can't wait until Clarissa is old enough to go shopping!

After that we went grocery shopping and that was probably the most fun I've had grocery shopping in a long time! Melissa is a great helper and she talked nonstop about food in Korea, which I always love to hear about.

Then we came home, ate dinner, got the boys off to Scouts and Melissa, Clarissa and I watched Ice Princess, which is a totally girly movie that the boys wouldn't want to watch.

It was nothing big but I seriously loved every second of it. It makes me excited for the day that Clarissa is old enough to do girl things with me. I adore my boys but sometimes it's fun to have a little girl time!

Tomorrow we're leaving for our trip and the kids are really excited. I'm nervous about travelling with four kids and keeping them entertained when we're up in the mountains pretty much in the middle if nowhere but I think we're going to have fun. It will be good to get away for a few days. Let's hope I'm still sane when we return!:) I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm still alive!

I seem to be having a really hard time finding the time to update my blog these days! And I hate that everytime I blog it's only to say how busy I am.

But here I am to update and I'm updating to say how busy I am!! Life is super crazy these days. We're having an awesome time with Melissa, but I have to admit, it's wearing me out! I don't want her to go back to Korea and say that she spend her month in America going to school and watching Hannah Montana, so I'm trying to cram as many activities in to her stay as I can. I think by the end of the month we will have done as many family activites as we usually do in a year, lol.

We've taken her to all the fun kids places in town-the zoo, the discovery center, the big arcade, the super cool candy store that we love and some other fun places. We've had a bunch of movie nights, we've taught her how to play a ton of American board games (which she loves!), the kids have had a slumber party in the basement...and she's only been here for two weeks!

This weekend it's going to get even crazier because we're taking the kids out of town for the weekend. Part of me is really excited about it and part of me thinks we're crazy, but we're doing it anyway! :) I found a fun hotel up in the mountains a couple of hours from here and we've rented a two room suite for a couple of days. While we're up there we're going to go on a really cool Elk feeding trip, where they'll pull us in a horse drawn sled out to an area where there are a bunch of elk and we'll push bales of hay out of the sled and the elk come up to the sled and eat. That sounds so cool!

Then we're taking the kids to a ski resort and enrolling them in ski school for the day. My kids have never been skiing before, so it should be quite an adventure! It sounds like fun, hopefully they'll have a good time!

The exchange program paid us a stipend to cover the cost of most of the activities this month, so we've really taken advantage of the great opportunity and we're cramming in all the fun we can possibly have. I want Melissa to go home with lots of fun stories to tell about her time in America. I can tell that she's used to being constantly on the go because we're wearing out long before she does! She seems to be having a great time here and we're enjoying her. She gets along great with the kids and she seems like one of the family.

So we're having a great time these days, but it's wearing me out a little! In the midst of all the fun activities we're doing, I've got a ton of other things going on right now. I'm trying to get Clarissa's birthday party planned, we've got another post placement visit from our social worker coming up next month and I need to get a few things prepared for that, including getting family pictures taken to submit with the report, my laptop crashed a couple of days ago and I've spent forever restoring everything, Clarissa is still having sleep issues at night that we're working to do list is long and exhausting right now.

But we feel really lucky to have this opportunity with Melissa and it's been a lot of fun, so I'm trying to just enjoy the ride. This has definitely been a month that we'll never forget! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Busy life!

I've been so busy lately that it's always kind of a miracle when I can even find time to sit down and blog these days! I can't believe that I thought I was busy when there only used to be two kids in our house, lol.

Things are going really well around here though, so I can't really complain. Things are working out really well with Melissa, we're having a great time with her. On Saturday we took the kids to the zoo, which was actually really fun because I've never been to the zoo in the winter before! In fact I didn't even really realize that the zoo was open all year here until I was researching fun things to do with Melissa. Saturday was actually a sunny day that wasn't super cold, so it wasn't bad zoo weather. The fun thing about going to the zoo in the winter is that you pretty much get the whole place to yourself! The place was practically deserted, so it was kind of fun to run around.

Yesterday we took Melissa to church with us and she seemed to enjoy it. She didn't know what church was until yesterday, so I don't think she really knew what to expect. There were lots of kids her age there though and most of them go to our kids school, so it was nice to introduce her to people that she'll be seeing at school.

And speaking of school, we got all the kids off this morning. We had a wonderful Christmas break but I don't think I've ever been so happy to see the end of it, lol. I was kind of ready for everyone to go back to school. I drove the kids there this morning so that I could get Melissa settled in. There are four Korean kids starting school there today, so the front office people were expecting them. The principal greeted her and took her to her classroom to meet her teacher, who seems really nice. Everyone was really nice to her and the friends she met at church yesterday immediately gathered around her and took her out to the playground to play, so I think she's going to be well taken care of at school!

I admire how brave she is. She's handling this whole experience extremely well. She hasn't seemed homesick at all. They told us to have her call home twice a week, so I helped her call her mom yesterday afternoon and she was happy to talk to her for a few minutes and then she hung up and happily went off to play. She's doing great! She's just one of the gang around here now!

Since she's been here she's been very adamant about only wanting American food but yesterday she asked me if I would make her bibimbop. That's the mixed rice dish that I posted about a month or so ago. I didn't have the ingredients for it yesterday but I promised to make it for her today, so I've been preparing that this afternoon. The problem is that the bibimbop I know how to make has been very Americanized and I'm sure it's nothing like what she's craving. So I went to the Korean store and got a lesson on how to make real bibimbop. The guy at the Korean store showed me a package of seasoned bibimbop vegetables that will be a lot easier than buying all the veggies seperately. It looks like sprouts and corn and maybe spinich or possibly seaweed in a spicy sauce. I also bought the bottle of Kimchee that Melissa insisted she didn't want last time because there is Kimchee in real Korean bebimbop.

The great thing about bibimbop is that you put all the ingredients on the table and then everyone puts what they want on their rice and they mix it all themselves. So she can have kimchee and spicy veggies in hers and I can still make Josh and Matthew's a little more Americanized since getting them to try kimchee is going to be difficult! :)

So I'm excited for dinner tonight. It will be fun to have Melissa show us how real bibimbop is done!

I had a good time at the Korean store because every time I go there the people that work there make a big fuss over Clarissa and they're so nice to us. I can't talk about Koreans without mentioning how amazingly NICE they are. I know I've said it a million times, but I'm still surprised every time I interact with Korean people how incredibly nice they are. The guy who works at the Korean store (actually I'm pretty sure he's the owner) gives us free crackers every time we go in. This time I only went in with Clarissa because the big kids are at school and he still put free crackers for them in the bag. So sweet. Plus today he also gave me a Korean calendar with photos of Korean food on it! He asks lots of questions about Clarissa and he tells me about Korea and I always leave with a smile on my face. I will say it again-Koreans are really NICE people!!

So onto Clarissa news-today she is officially 11 months old!!! I can't believe a month from now she's going to be a year old. Time has really flown by (especially since she wasn't here for most of her first year, lol). I'm starting to work on planning her birthday party. Koreans have really neat traditions for first birthdays and I'm excited to throw a real Korean birthday party! It will be a fun time and I'm sure I'll be posting lots more about that in the coming weeks!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Adventures with Melissa, Day three!

Happy 2010! I can see that we're in for a very busy but extremely fun start to the new year! We are having an absolute ball with Melissa. I am so grateful for this awesome opportunity, it's really working out well and the whole family adores Melissa. Josh and Matthew are loving it because we've been doing a lot more activities than we would normally do in an average week. It's just been one big party around here the past few days!

Last night we let the kids have a campout in the basement, which they always love to do. They ate pizza and had a Wii tournament and watched movies until they finally passed out. They tried to make it to midnight, but they didn't suceeed. :)

This morning we went outside and played in the snow, but it had rained a little this morning so it was kind of slushy out there. It was perfect snowman snow though, so Josh and Melissa made the cutest snowman ever. Melissa did the face and I absolutely love it. Here's a photo that I'm including since you can see her face.

After we played in the snow we packed the kids up and went over to a big arcade they have in Boise. It has lasertag and a roller coaster simulator and a restaurant and all sorts of fun things to do. We ate lunch and let the kids play for a while and they had a ball. We bought a bunch of tokens for the kids to play the arcade games and when we were just about out of them I gave Josh and Melissa the last couple that I had in my pocket. Melissa took the last token and went over to a game that looks kind of like the wheel on the Price is Right and she put the token in and spinned it...and won ONE THOUSAND tickets! You should have seen the look on her face, it was awesome! Everyone standing near her watched her collecting the tickets that came out of the machine. It took forever for it to stop spitting out tickets!!

She took her tickets and picked out some fun prizes and she was really proud of herself. I think she'll be telling that story a lot when she gets back to Korea. :)

We came home and the kids have been happily playing together all evening. They all play together really well and it's been fun to watch. I felt really bad for her when she first got here because there isn't a girl here for her to play with, but she gets along great with the boys. I hope they continue to get along as well as they have the past few days!

Tomorrow we're going to find something else exciting to do and then Sunday I think we'll be more than ready for a day of rest. Monday school starts back up so that will be taking up most of their days for a while. I'm a little relieved by that because as much fun as the past few days have been, I'm pretty sure that I couldn't keep it up all month! We're eventually going to run out of exciting things to do! :)

So that's what's going on around here these days! It's always an adventure at our house! :)