Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seoul Lantern Festival

Hey guys,

Thanks for hanging in there... I know I've been playing catch-up tonight, but this is the LAST ONE!!! Then I'm back in the present tense. :)

It was so hectic trying to get to Seoul, adding people to our party, changing plans while on the train, but we got there, and we all made the best choices for the best possible night.  This is how said night turned out:
Me, standing under a canopy of lanterns.
Lanterns floating down the stream, collecting at a check point.
I finally got to meet up with the elusive John Patterson, which I've been trying to do wince my plane landed here!  All it took was infringing on a guys' night with Joshua and Brandon... sorry guys, but thanks for letting me come.  ;)
The inside of the lantern-tunnel from the background of our previous picture.
Brandon, who is single-handedly responsible for making sure I had more photos of me in one night than I've had the whole time I've been in Korea (slight exaggeration), amongst the flags of countries that support Korea during the Korean war.
My first glimpse of Seoul Tower.
Seoul, done up for Christmas
Me, at the Christmas store!  This shot got quite a few chuckles from the guys standing in front of the store, and even more when the other members of our crew wanted to go back.  :)

Happy advent to you!

This one's for my mom.


You're always saying how you want to hear me play in church.  Unfortunately, you couldn't be there, but this was for you.  Sorry it wasn't the best I could have done, but, sometimes in the battle against the cold, frozen fingers will lose.


Can an Elephant Jump?

I'm 90% certain this is a fourth grade class.  For your viewing pleasure:

I'm not going to lie... it got hard to do that every morning for this past month... mornings + exercise + Anne = akdsjhgfakjdbgbeaprghasdjlkgadfjlkhgjkadbfljkgnaerkjhg.


Who am I? - Sweet third graders being... sweet

Remember when you were little and didn't mind looking ridiculous (in fact, you actually kind of loved it)?  Here, let me jog your memory:

We played the "Who am I?" game to reinforce verb usage.

 Royster Teacher wasn't sneaky enough in her camera usage.

 The kids were preparing for an open house for their parents and wanted to show us their routines.

Yes, the girl in the back is a 3rd grader.  My only guess is that her birthday is in February or something.  (Everyone advances in age on the lunar new year, which is at the end of January.)


Drawing comics - This is so overdue that I forgot these photos existed... oops

This project was inspired by one of my fellow NT's - Martha - and my Uncle Rich (who draws the comic Hokum, which is linked to the title of this posting).  Enjoy!

The following is the work of one of my special ed students.  Any English you see is mine, but I feel like there is a pattern to what he's writing, especially considering the deliberateness with which he wrote it and handed it in.  Look at it, see if you can make anything of it.  :)


Cute kid work

 Okay.  Words aren't extremely necessary for this post.  This is some of my students' work... it's pretty funny, so you may want to bookmark this one for a bad day... I know I will.

This one actually isn't funny at all, but it falls into the "cute kid work" category, as one of my students came into the room today during our planning time, asking if it would be okay if he drew my portrait on the dry erase board.  The only downfall was that I couldn't keep it. :)


Hey friends! 

As many of you know, I'm a HUGE fan of adoption.  I've linked the title of this post to one of the best adoption-centered charities I know... the Dave Thomas Foundation, so take a second to click on the title up this-a-way, ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ and check it out.  That being said, I have some exciting news!  (No, I haven't adopted any children... yet.)

My first RD and her husband, Jessica and Jonathon Duranceau, are adopting from Ethiopia (and I couldn't be more thrilled for them!).  But, as we know, adoption is Expensive (yes, with a capital E).  Sooooo... there's this excellent way we can help them out:

All proceeds from ticket sales of the Lipscomb basketball game on December 3rd will go directly toward their adoption.  LET'S GET A SELL OUT for them!!!  Even if you cannot go, this is a great way to donate! Tickets are only $7 for general admission, $10 for reserved seating, & $5 for children. Jon & Jess are INCREDIBLE and have such a heart for this adoption. You can purchase tickets at the door or online HERE.

All together now:  Awwwwww, what a good looking family!
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." - James 1:27

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Forsaking all others...

I had the distinct pleasure of attending my cousin's wedding via USTREAM this weekend.  It was inspired idea, and I am so grateful for all the time and effort the bride and groom put in to make me feel a part of what they were doing.  I love them so very much, and I honestly couldn't be happier because of this marriage without incessantly crying happy tears (I already am smiling and starting to cry about 2 or 3 times an hour, but that's probably also because I pulled 2 all-nighters in a row in an effort to catch this wedding).

Unfortunately, it was very hard to hear the ceremony, but one line rang out loud and clear, echoing through my head from that moment on.  The pastor looked at my cousin and was asking him to pledge his vows.  The only line I clearly heard was, "forsaking all others".  Having a bit more time on my hands as I watched the rest of the ceremony, it gave me the opportunity to really dwell on the magnitude of that vow.

Forsaking all others

I can't even begin to vocalize the thoughts in my head on that subject, because it's so much more than I can coherently write, but I hope you will take some time to mull it over in your head too.

That being said, I want to leave you with some if the lyrics to the song "Sigh No More" by Mumford and Sons.  There is a depth of Truth so deep in this that I can't find the bottom.  I also associate it with my cousin and his (now) wife(!), as I heard it first when I was with them.  It is my prayer that they continue to live, making these words their path:

Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be 

Lots of love to you!  I'll leave you with some photos and a clip from their wedding, as I saw it. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Superheroes (Part 3b) - You can't fix bad hearts.

What a lesson.  One of my kids really got "IT" this time around.  The call of "Teacher, Teacher!  Help me!  Is this right?" Is a typical sound in my classroom, especially when critical thinking time rolls around, so it didn't shock me to hear it come out of his mouth, but what did catch me off guard was the answer waiting for me.  His number one con to being a superhero: "You can't fix bad hearts."

How many times have I tried to do this?  Not even just with "bad" hearts, but I try to "fix" any heart that I think is on a path different from what I would choose for them.  Let me tell you this... my efforts to fix almost always end in destruction.  No matter what I'd like to have be the case in my life, the fact remains that I am a flawed human.  No matter how close I am to G-d at any given moment, I can bring salvation to no one.  It's in moments like this that I can't help wanting to reference all of St. Augustine's Confessions, but, since I can't (well... at least not on here directly, click the link to reach a full electronic copy of the book), I'm going to quote it a bit:
My own stiff neck took me further and further away from you.  I loved my own ways, not yours.  The liberty I loved was merely that of a runaway... The blindness of humanity is so great that people are actually proud of their blindness.
 Who will enable me to find rest in you?  Who will grant me that you come to my heart and intoxicate it, so that I forget my evils and embrace my one and only good, yourself?  What are you to me?  Have mercy so that I may find words.  What am I to you that you command me to love you, and that, if I fail to love you, you are angry with me and threaten me with vast miseries?  If I do not love you, is that but a little misery?  What a wretch I am!  In your mercies, [L-rd G-d], tell me what you are to me.  'Say to my soul, I am your salvation' (Ps. 34:3).  Speak to me so that I may hear.  See the ears of my heart are before you, [L-rd].  Open them and 'say to my soul, I am your salvation.'  After that utterance I will run and lay hold on you.  Do not hide your face form me (cf. Ps. 26:9).  Lest I die, let me die so that I may see it.
 It is only G-d who can bring people to Him.  He uses us and our loves to act as an example, but, in the end, it is He who opens hearts.  This is an important lesson that I must never forget.  I am called to love G-d.  Beyond that, there is nothing more important, nothing I can ever do better.  If I focus on that, everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy After-School English Festival

Okay, I'll confess:  I'm really behind on my postings.  Rest assured, I intend to correct that, so be on the lookout.

This post is from a really cute English festival that I got to go to on the 17th.

This is a compilation of all the videos I took while there.

The "Carol" the boys were singing to
 This was a very informative news report on things to do in our city.  I got some tips for things to try!

A play of a Korean folktale.

Answering the trivia questions
Cute first graders singing "Lemon Tree."
 An adorable telling of the ugly duckling.  She did a great job!

A play of "The Ants and the Grasshopper"
My head teacher (Ms. 구) and me. :)