Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Me and my semi-green thumb!

Now if you know my mom, you know she has an insane garden full of flowers, veggies, blueberries and all sorts of other stuff. She has the greenest thumb I've ever seen. I swear that woman can make anything grow.

I on the other hand struggle a bit.  It all started with the Hibiscus plant Jon gave me when we were dating. It was so dang cute. Then all the roomies started noticing these little clear looking bug/dots on them. I just figured they were supposed to be there. Not so much. In the end I attempted to save the plant by rubbing, rubbing alcohol on the plant and misting it with water every 2 hours. Needless to say... it didn't work. My poor little Hibiscus was dead.

Then there was the mystery plant Jon's mom gave me. When I got it, it had two green stems. So I watered it and put it in the sun and these gorgeous white blossoms came out and I was so ecstatic! Then it died... and literally just looked like a pot with dirt for about 6 months. I saved it numerous times from my roomates attempts to throw it away. And it bloomed again! Then died... then I had to give it away because I moved to Korea. 

But in general I just have not always had a great track record with plants. But I decided this year would be different. I want plants! Sooooo I got some!

Ok so really... I only have a few little potted plants. My school has been planting a ton of flowers. 
They told me if I brought in some pots they'd give me some flowers! So I stocked up!

Here they are trying to get a little light, although with the rain all day it's been a little rough.
I love how colorful they are!

This little guy my co-teacher bought for me... kind of pathetically cute :) But the plant will eventually grow little whitish/pink flowers.

I have NO idea what these little guys will be, but I hope it lives long enough for me to find out!

And then there are the mint leaves. My friend Jane mailed these my way from her little island and I need to plant them in a pot. My only issue is that every website I've looked at gives me conflicting advice  on how to plant these indoors. Some say thin layer of soil, some say 5 gallon pot, some say lot's of sun, others say shade... seriously make up your minds! 

So I will be calling my mother tonight to attempt to figure out how to make this little guy flourish because I am needing some mint for the lovely mojitos I plan on making this summer :)

Any tips on growing things?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


1) Today was the beginning of week 6 in the 1/2 marathon training and I was able to do 4 miles in an avg of 9:13/mile! This is down by 13 seconds per mile from last week.... so basically I'm pretty pumped.

2) We've been a little sick round the Stainbrook Casa.  Jon has been struggling to breathe the past week, and has been hacking up all sorts of fun things. I remained unaffected... until today. I'm now feeling the sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and sickness... it's a treat.

3) I told you there'd be more flowers and I don't lie. Here are some of my favorite flowers from the other day. I saw these little beauties on the side of the road, yelled at Jon to stop, jumped out of the car and proceeded to run up the brushy embankment.

Bare with me... there are a lot of pictures, but I just love them all!

I know, I know, there is no purple in these two, but I just love the way these vines/twigs wrap around the branches. It's just so neat looking.

Love these little guys coming out of the center. I'm not quite sure what they're called. Can anyone help me out?

Ahhhh So pretty! Love these flowers. They just make me happy :)

Hope they bring some cheer to you as well! What are your favorite flowers?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes, I am crazy

I never thought I was a self-destructive type of person, but I'm beginning to re-evaluate.
Today I started the P90x workout regimen.... and on top of this I'm also still training for the half marathon in Busan.


I can't say for sure. Maybe it's the fact that everyone and their mother (and by this I mean my husband and our neighbors) has recently started it up and I'm feeling a little left out. Although I will say recently I've heard of about 25 people that are into p90x or are just starting, etc.  I was going to start doing the  p90x when I was done training for the marathon, but apparently it just wasn't soon enough. 

That and come the end of May it's going to be getting unbelievably warm in Korea-land. And I wouldn't be able to finish until like August... and I just want to be done quicker than that. So now I'll be done at the end of June... just before the humid, rainy, monsoon season sets in. 

I also have a theory that I'm way too much like my mother. I mean this in a semi-good way (love you mom :) ). She has the inability to sit still, and to give herself some down time.  And I have the same issue. I think I can always be doing more, always one more goal to reach. I'm way to antsy and goal oriented for my own good.

So now I'm doing chest, back, shoulder, leg, arm, and ab ripper exercises and still running... I'm either going to get in amazing shape or kill myself trying.

Pray for the first, I know I am.

Do any of you have a favorite work-out, DVD, or exercise regimen? And if any of you have any nutritional tips or general sanity tips that'd be swell :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Good, The Great, and The Beautiful!

The Good: We woke up to an absolutely gorgeous day today! The sun was shining, birds were singing (I never actually heard them, but I'm almost positive they were) and it was quite warm! Hooray for Spring!

The Great:  I went on a great run today! I ran along this lovely little road.
I had my six mile run today and it ROCKED! I avg. 9:37/mile!  The wind wasn't out of control or insane at all. This was such a blessing!  The wind was perfect, just enough to cool you off, but not so much that I had to recreate a scene from Twister.

The Beautiful:

 Today was such a beautiful spring day! The flowers are blooming and the sun was so nice! Jon and I walked/drove around for the good part of an hour and took sooooo many pictures. Maybe I should say I took pictures, and Jon walked around patiently waiting for me :)

There will be many more flower pictures to come... believe me there were far to many to just put up on one post !

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ahra and Mr. Cho

I think one of my favorite parts of living in Korea is getting to know a lot of our teachers and being able to have them over for dinner. We've really been blessed with so many wonderful teachers and it's always fun to make them a "western" dish :)

The other night we had Jon's elementary school teacher, Ahra, and her husband ( who coincidentally works at my elementary school) Mr. Cho. (We've never been told his Korean name, and he hasn't chosen his English name yet.) 

They are seriously one of the cutest couples... ever. They are both ridiculously sweet, funny, and goofy :)

We made some delicious fajitas... they didn't last long.
(*sorry about the stinky yellow color, this tends to happen with the lights in our house, and I was way to lazy to attempt photoshopping it)

Playing a little Wii action. These two were so great to watch!

Mr. Cho capturing a great moment between Jon and I :) I think he just beat me at Ping Pong... and was rubbing it in.

Then we boxed... and we all know who dominated that one :)

Giving the Archery a try.

Then Ahra and Mr. Cho gave boxing a go... Ahra took him down! 

We are already planning our next get together with them, and there are plans for basketball in the making. In a culture where we often feel lost, and alone most of the time it's such a blessing to have great friends. And really it's a great opportunity for us to learn more about Korea and appreciate the people we work with.

What's your favorite Wii game? Mine are swordfighting and boxing... so much fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Run Forrest, Run!

For the past 4 weeks I've been training for a half-marathon. I will officially be running in Busan on May 16! I am beyond excited about this, not only will it be my first half-marathon... it'll be in Korea! Something a little fun and different.

Now during this training, for the most part, I've felt really good. There have been some harder days, but in reality I've felt incredible afterwards and really enjoy getting in the exercise and working towards a goal.

The only difficulty has been the ...duh duh duh WIND! I'm not talking light breezes on a nice summer day. I'm talking of upwards to 50 mph winds coming directly at me and literally knocking me over ( yes, it was a little embarrassing). We're talking the Mary Poppins scene when all the nannies are blown away for Mary to get there. The wind is so out of control on the islands and it's usually in one direction and then on the way back it's like completely calm. It's outrageous!

Last Sunday I was on a 5 mile run and I was heading up a hill and while I should've looked like this....

It looked a little something like this....

I wish I was kidding. I wish I was exaggerating. But I was literally crawling up that hill fighting the dang wind! At one point I even cried out " LORD CALM THE WIND!!!!!!!!!!!!" thinking that clearly he would hear me, and totally calm everything down. Let's just say the Lord was testing me and my willpower to get through the run. I did get through it, but I did not enjoy it... not even a little.

So although the wind has been giving me a lot of trouble, I do have some rewarding news to go along with it!
My Stats along the way
4 weeks ago...
running 3 miles:
pace 10:45 / mile (ouch... this is high, but I attribute it to the fact I hadn't done any form of exercise for about 3 months and then just went out and ran 3 miles)
fastest time: 9:08/mile
running 4 miles (that's one more mind you)
pace: 9:26/ mile (that's down almost 1:20/mile whoo hoo!)
fastest time: 5:23/mile

Now I know these times are still pretty high for most people. But quite frankly I'm proud of myself for improving my time so much! I'm hoping that in the next 8 weeks I'll get it down even further!

Do any of you run? Is the wind the bane of your existence?? Any tips for running in a race? It'll be my first one!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gettin' Snazzy

Alright folks, I have officially updated the blog, added some pages, and created my own header...on photoshop non-the less. I'm hoping this will make the blog a little more fun and personalized, so enjoy looking around!
Now here are the stats for this snazzy new look...

Total time spent on the new look: 3 hours

Hours of those spent just on stupid photoshop: 2 hours

Times I cried while trying to do photoshop: 3

Times I wanted to throw my computer on the ground and throw a tantrum: 100

Actual times I did that: zero... (thank goodness)

Blog that saved mine and my computer's life (and sanity): Miss Rita over at the coffeetea photography blog! (seriously this woman is a saint!)

Satisfaction: about 90%. There are definitely a few things that I wish I could change or make better, but for now it'll do!

Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lovin' Spring!

And lovin' these lovely little yellow flowers.... seriously so beautiful!

And no... no photoshop here... I loved them all right out of the camera. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Photoshop a.k.a the bane of my existence

Recently Jon and I acquired Photoshop cs4... the mack daddy of them all. And it is 100% NOT user friendly. Seriously.... just when you think you might have it a little bit figured out, you are not even close. at all. Now I usually pick up on things pretty quickly and can figure things out given a little time. But this program has stumped me so many times and has really humbled my "can do" attitude. Buuuuuuut after a lot more tweaking, reading/watching 50 million tutorials and video tutorials I think I figured out how to use about 2% of the program. which is a start. So here are a few of my before and afters. Now remember I am in no way shape or form great at this, let alone mediocre. But I do like how some of these shots turned out after.

Now I know I probably could've done this on a regular old editing program, but that's not the point. And I will figure out how to do "cooler" stuff on it, I promise.

I LOVE that you can add texture to photos gives it a little something extra.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure I will say it took me a good 2 hours to upload this last photo. I couldn't figure out why in the world it wouldn't upload. I changed the dimensions, I tweaked just about everything I could to get the size down and still it wouldn't work! Then I realized it wasn't saved in jpg. Which quite honestly pissed me off. The other edited one automatically saved in jpg so why wouldn't the second one!? Oh photoshop... just when I think I have you figured out you throw me another curve ball. I WILL learn to use this program and I WILL conquer all... or at least (hopefully) have some snazzy pictures at the end of it all!

That's all for now. Any help, photo tips, encouragement please send my way. My sanity and the livelihood of my computer needs it :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

We have a driveway!!

Ok, so we always had a driveway, but it was a muddy, watery mess. Since we moved into these houses they had promised that they would cement the little road/driveway coming into our house. Until about 4 weeks ago we hadn't heard anymore about it, and then the workers showed up. And of course, it took them a whole 4 weeks to actually finish cementing the dang thing. To add insult to injury it also rained about 23 out of those 28 days. So you can imagine it was really fun not being able to drive on the road and having to walk.

Here is our lovely muddy mess

You can't see the difference but it was a good couple of inches between the cement into our parking area and the driveway. In other words our car bottomed out every time we went over it.
As you can see, we couldn't even walk along the road we had to walk on the very thin slab of cement covered in boards. A little scary
This is Jon. Jon doesn't balance so well. Jon fell.
*this is a re-enactment. we were not in the picture taking mood when he fell.
Jon fell into this. He had a good 2 inches of mud covering his shoes, inside his shoes, and on his jeans. Needless to say we were getting a little sick of this situation after so many weeks!

The workers truck getting stuck in all the muddy guk!
Now you can see why it took them a good 4 weeks to finish. They took the longest breaks, and weren't really working that hard. This is their hour long soju break in our parking area. Look at that work ethic.
Yay they are finally spreading the cement!
It's finished! Now we just have to wait 3 days to walk on it (which we didn't do) and 5 days to drive on it, are you kidding me!? but at least we were able to walk on a hard, non muddy surface.
Finally driving on it! woo hoo!

And that is our excitement from Korea. Yes, as you can tell we are really living it up here. Our biggest news is cement. Thrilling.