Friday, October 30, 2009

Delicious Autumn!

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
~George Elliott~

The company Lyle works for decided we needed a trip to Naejangsan Nat.'l Park to see the fall leaves. They let him skip a day at work to avoid the weekend crowds...Thanks Woongjin!
The scenery was breathtaking, and I was wishing I was a better photographer, and had a better camera. But Mother Nature made up for my inadequacies. So enjoy this fall walk in Korea. I know we did!

Everything looks better with the right background...even us!

It was about here I started quoting Robert Frosts poem about two roads diverging in the woods...

Our Chaperons for the day: Mr. Goo on the rt. (process engineer) and Mr. Jang (plant manager).

Living in Butte gave us only about two weeks of fall weather before the freezing temperatures and snow usually put an end to it. Moses Lake wasn't a whole lot better due to the wind that ususally blew the leaves off what few trees they had the week after the trees changed colors. So we have been loving this autumn. It started in September and we are told will last through November. Low 70's during the day, cool nights and no wind.
Makes me want to bake pumpkin bread, go for a walk and kick some leaves.
I love Fall!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mike Turns The Big 30!!

"Just remember...
Once you are over the hill,
You begin to pick up speed."
~author unknown~

Random things every one should know, and admire about this "Birthday Boy"...

Mike is lovingly known as one of the "Valley Boys".
He loves the Star Valley area where he grew up. Let's just say you can take the boy out of the Valley, but you can't take the Valley out of the boy.
Mike loves the great outdoors. He has been known to wake up at 5am, go for a long hike up in the mountains alone, to get out of the city and reconnect with Mother Nature. And then be back at 9am, just as everyone else is barely rolling out of bed.
He is very good at woodworking, and made a gorgeous log that is up at the cabin.

He loves to try new things...bonsai gardening, fly fishing, and gourmet cooking to name a few.

He is the most patient guy on the planet, always puts others needs ahead of himself, and is still living that scout motto of doing a good turn daily.
He loves the gospel, and is a very dedicated member of the church.

He's a great husband and the perfect match for Lisa.

He's a great dad!
His "dangle baby skills" are much better than Michael Jackson's.
At 6'4" he will forever hold the honor of being the tallest member of our family... we look up to him not only physically but also because of his many great attributes.
Happy Birthday Mike!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autum Bike Riding

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle." ~Earnest Hemmingway~

So about a month ago we bought bikes!
We could only walk along the same couple miles of river dodging other Koreans that are getting their exercise as well, before we had the desire to find out just what does lie around that river bend that we couldn't see by car.
We have been biking almost every night after Lyle gets home from work, and I am sad the weather is starting to turn cold and we will have to put them away for a season.
I brought the camera with me last week and here's some pictures from our little ride.

One thing we discovered is "Pumpkin Bees" You can't really see this guy on the sunflower because he blends in so well, but their bodies are orange and black, some of them are quite large...and they do sting.

Here's Lyle striking a pose while I take a picture of all the flowers along the bike path. Along with the bikers and walkers, this narrow road also had an occasional car driving along the 8 mile path. Koreans can squeeze into a small area better than anyone I've ever met.

A few elderly people collect boxes and cardboard to earn extra money form recycling. The rules of the road are they have these people have the right of way...tough way to make a living at any age.

The one and only horse we have ever seen in Korea. (Horses take up too much space.) This guy was riding along the river and hollered at us because we were "Migos" translated-- Americans.

Did I mention horses are few and far between? So you improvise and go for a cow ride.

Regarding this picture and the seven women and children in the small wagon, refer back to my previous comment that Koreans are great at fitting into small spaces.

Rice fields in Sangju just about ready for harvest.

I tried to get Lyle to do this, but I think some of the romance has turned into keeping our balance, and not falling off the bike.

A farmer getting ready to start up the ol' tractor and take off.

Farmer doing that never ending job...weeding.

Gloves...check. Hat...check. Arms covered...check. Face covered...check. The legs...who cares!
It's all about sun protection. They don't want their skin to be dark, the whiter the skin the prettier you are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Tell me I'm clever,
Tell me I'm kind,
Tell me I'm talented,
Tell me I'm cute,
Tell me I'm sensitive,

Graceful and wise,
Tell me I'm perfect,
But tell me the truth!
~Shel Silverstiein~

Just wanted to tell Tyler that after 25 years you are all of those things and a whole lot more.
Here are just a few of them...

Tyler's passionate and stays true to what he believes in...

He's a great uncle, and even has a nephew that bears a strong resemblance...
(refer to picture below for proof)

He learned to party like a Rock Star at a very young age...

Has always been a loyal friend...

Likes to try new challenges...

Looks down the road, and plans ahead...

Not afraid to get out of his comfort zone...

Works hard for the money...and will do things that take some courage...

Keeps his creative juices flowing...

Never stresses...never.

Could have won "Cutest baby contests" everywhere.

Chick magnet...

Loves to have a good time...especially if its in the great outdoors...

Loves skiing, and if necessary would sacrifice money necessary for survival and a college class for a good ski day...

We are so grateful you are part of our family!!!
Happy Quarter-of-A-Century-Birthday Tyler!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CHEUSOK!!! {a.k.a. Korean Thanksgiving}

"For...we are all of us from birth to death guests at a table which we did not spread. The sun, the earth, love, friends, our very breath are parts of the banquet." ~Rebecca Harding Davis~

Our "family" Cheusok/Thanksgiving photo:
(lt. to rt. Mary- wearing Rachel's pants, because she forgot her suitcase; Lyle-just hoping his brain will survive this group and the hike, Rachel-from NZ- an English professor & hostess with the mostess; Luz- A Maori from NZ- who can't take a serious picture-also an English teacher; her husband Brian from SLC-also an English teacher-he once lived in our stake in MT; John-Another Maori from NZ- married to Rachel and an English professor. He put us all to shame by being the first one up the mountain at age 67!)

This past weekend was one of Korean's biggest holiday's of the year. It's a combination of Thanksgivng and Memorial Day all rolled into one. The Korean's all hit the road and clog up the expressways as they head to the parents home to eat traditional food and visit the graves of their ancestors. We were invited by some friends from church to come spend the weekend with them in Daegu and the Kiwi's proved to us they know how to have a great time!

Day 1: Was spent eating lunch at a great Chinese restaurant in Daegu. After the lunch the guys went for a bike ride and the girls got pedicures...loved the wax treatment!
Later we went to a BBQ at our Branch Pres. home. He is the commander of Camp Walker, so we got our first visit of the military base in Daegu. It made me homesick for the US. When you go on Base it is a little like stepping out of Korea and back on familiar ground.

Day 2: We decided to take a hike straight up a mountain to visit Mr. Gatbawi...meaning Budha with the "stone hat". The hike started out up hill...never a good sign, and only got steeper. We kept seeing old ladies coming down the hill and a few of them packing grandchildren on their back, so I kept telling myself it can't be that bad...wrong!

Taking a much needed picnic break.

The steep hill soon became too steep for a path so they turned it into a steep staircase. Did I mention it was steep??? This climbing went on for over an hour to get to the top.

This monk had set up shop and was chanting about 2/3's of the way up the mountain. I'm sure if you translated what he was chanting it was something like ..."you all are crazy to do this hike... come buy my bracelets you crazy people"...repeated for hours.

Still climbing the stairway to heaven...

Finally made it to the top!

Lyle Gatbawi...I believe that is some Maori's finger growing out of the top of his head, or maybe just holding the rock in place!

Gatbawi and John saying it best when they say nothing at all.

Mr. Gatbawi himself...probably tired of the sun in his eyes.

Food offerings, because its Cheusok.

This woman was kow-towing to Gatbawi before taking the food offerings away. The food is used to help feed the monks.

Sweeping up the insense ashes.

Candle and incense burning are a big part of the rituals.

I was told that many parents had come to pray to Budha in behalf of their children this weekend because the college entrance exams are coming up. This test is a huge deal for Koreans, how they score on it pretty much determines their entire future.

Two home-boys rivals. One went to East High, the other West High...trouble, no matter how you spell it.

When you can't throw coins in a fountain, you can always hang them on a rock.

Luz had this great idea for a photo, but the camera proves she cheated.

Serious game playing at midnight (or just to tired to laugh). Girls won by the way.

Thanks Kiwi's for making this first Thanksgiving in Korea one we are grateful for and won't soon forget!