Monday, August 8, 2011

It's A Small World...Sometimes

Being thousands of miles away from my family and friends, living on the other side of the world, it feels pretty big most of the time. But this last month, I've been blessed to have the world feel a little smaller, and South Korea feel a little bit like home, even if only for an afternoon. I saw familiar faces, met some new ones and got hugs from dear friends that I haven't seen in years who just happen to be in this country the same time as me.  :)

A wonderful girl named Casey was my very best friend when I was little. We had so much fun together and were pretty much inseparable from about 2nd - 6th grade...and then she moved away and I was crushed. She had the sweetest family and they were always so good to me. They treated me like I was another one of their kids. Thankfully, she and I have kept in touch over the years (and I still adore her to this day :)

Casey on the left, Me on the right...
Dressed up in who knows? what, playing something...I don't know, but having tons of fun doing it!

She has an adorable little sister, Chelsea (who's all grown up now!) and the most amazing, kind, loving woman for a mom. Their family taught me so much in those short 5 years when we were close and I never forgot all that they had done for me. I know that Joanne and Tom probably had no idea that they had such an impact on me, who I was to become and the choices I would make in life. But they sure did.  And I am forever grateful for the love that they showed me all those years ago.

It makes me think a little differently now as I look at my own 2nd grade daughter and her friends. Joy is the same age now that I was when I first met Casey. I hope that Joy will have a special friend like that, who she'll be able to keep in touch with all throughout her life. And though they may not see each other often, when they do, it's just like no time has passed at all.

I was so blessed today to get to see Joanne, Casey's Mom and her sister, Chelsea. It's been years since I've seen either one of them other than in pictures, but seeing them in person and getting hugs from old felt like home! Chelsea is here teaching English and Joanne came out to visit her. What a treat it was for me to be in the same foreign country at the same time! Now if only Casey could have been here, it would have been perfect! :)

Another awesome thing happened recently that made this big ol' world feel a little bit smaller. We met Chuck.  :)  We had never met Chuck before this last month, but he is married to one of our sweet friends that we knew when we were living in Missouri! At the time, we'd never heard of him. But here we are years later and they have since married, joined the Army and now he's stationed here in Korea! Thankfully, we recently got in touch with Amber who told us her husband was headed this way. We were able to meet him face to face because he's living and working right here on the same post that we are, everyday. :) We are praying that Amber will be able to join him over here soon, cause that will be SO much fun to get to see her all the time again! (and I'm sure her hubby will be thrilled to have her here too!)

Chuck has quickly become a great friend and the kids adore him...just as they adored Amber when they got to see her every week too!

Chuck had a birthday a few weeks ago and being stationed here, all by himself, we couldn't let his special day go by without a celebration! So we made him a cake and had a little party of our own, complete with hand made cards from all the Adams' kids and singing...they insisted we "sing AND have candles for Mr. Chuck!" It's certainly not the same as having his wonderful wife here, but hopefully it made him feel like he wasn't alone WAY over here in Korea, he's got a place at the Adams' family table anytime!

(But we sure miss you Amber! So get over here SOON!!  :) 

I really like it when those things happen that make the world feel a little bit smaller. It makes being over here  on the opposite side of the world a little bit easier, but it still doesn't make me miss my family and friends back 'home' in the States any less! We're counting down the days until our much needed visit!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Joy!

Our sweet Joy turned 7 this week! Her special day started with a cinnamon roll breakfast...

...which she thoroughly enjoyed!

Then she got to Skype with grandparents and open her presents from Oma and Papa. I absolutely love her reactions as she opens presents! She was VERY excited...

She got the Kanani doll that she has been wishing for since it became available back in January! Kanani  is the 2011 American Girl doll that's "from Hawaii" of course she was REALLY hoping that she'd get this and decided she wanted to have a Hawaiian theme birthday. It would have been much simpler to do if we were in the States (there's Hawaiian party stuff everywhere there) but in S. Korea, not so much. 

That's one happy 7 year old! Thank you Oma!

This weekend we had a party to celebrate and were surrounded by wonderful friends that made her birthday so much fun this year! Peter filled up a ton of water balloons and did games with the kids and everyone got a little wet and loved it since it was SO hot outside! :)

She wore one of her new dresses Mommy made! :) This one was made from a giant pillow case. 

Everyone is chasing the birthday girl with the last of the water balloons...

One of the things she requested to be at her party was pineapple. I think our pineapple bowls turned out pretty cute, and everyone ate it all up!

There's that great excited face again....  :) She was spoiled with wonderful presents and treats from all her friends. I love how excited all the other kids were about her opening the presents from them, it was too precious watching them all be excited together!

Here she is with one of her matching sets of dresses for her and her doll that I made.  :) 

And her cake! She was very specific about what she wanted on it...It had to have the ocean, a sandy beach, a hula girl, a palm tree, a big sunshine and flowers. I wasn't thrilled about trying it because I don't draw people very well, especially in icing, but she was happy about how it turned out.  :)

Making a wish...

Everyone seemed to enjoy eating it...

Then it was pinata time! Look at all those cute kiddos!

We let each of the kids take a couple of swings with the blindfold on...

...and then decided after no damage had been done to let them all do it again without the blindfold! 

Even after the whole line of kids hit it several times each, we still needed help from some of the daddies to break it open!

This isn't all of the friends that were there, but most of the group. She had a very fun 7th birthday celebration! (I can't believe she's that old already!) We sure missed all of our friends and family that are back in the States and we can't wait to see you all again!  Until then, No One Has More Fun Than The Adams'!...even in South Korea.  :)