10.31.2013

Fall Goals - Update

So, when October rolled around I shared my Fall Goals with you as well as some upcoming blog posts. It's been a whole month so I thought I'd give an update as well as highlight some things that I'll be sharing in November.

(This picture is from a photo shoot I went on the other day. Aren't the colors pretty?)

prayer life - I am going to make a point to set aside 5 minutes a day for uninterrupted prayer.
*October update- I can't say I did this every day but I can say I'm praying more.

Bible memorization - I want to have these passages picked out and ready by Thursday, October 3rd so I can take them when I travel to Albuquerque.
*October update - I'm pretty excited about this one! I decided to memorize I Thessalonians 4 and 5. One chapter in October and one in November. I'm pretty much done with I Thessalonians 4. Would anyone be interested in a blog post with some tips and tricks on how to memorize Bible verses?

TESOL certification - I wanted to get this done by end of December.
*October update - ha ha ha! I'm still plugging away on this class but end of December is going to be a biiiig stretch! This class is much bigger than I anticipated.

Etsy Shop - I'm wanting going to open an Etsy shop!
*October update - I did it! I opened my shop and if you look to the left there is a yellow tab that says 'shop'. What do you think?

blog - I want to do some organization with this little 'ole blog I have.
*October update - BAM! I feel that my blog got super organized this month. I got a new design and planned out some things which helped me stay more organized. I also sponsored some blogs which was a lot of fun too.


  • Missionary Profiles - I have two lined up. You'll be hearing about Brazil and Burma. I can't wait!
  • World's Longest Tram Way located in Albuquerque, NM
  • Some more fall recipes because I didn't share them all in October ... whoops
  • Thanksgiving! I have three gratitude link-ups I want to participate in and I can't decide which one I want to do so I might just tackle all three. 
  • Why the blog and the history behind 'Sunshine to the Square Inch' - yeah, I said that last month too but I'll tray again this month. 
  • My nephew! I only see my nephews 2-3 times a year and it makes this Auntie sad =( BUT I get to see my nephew in November and I'll for sure be sharing some things about his visit. 
  • Triathlon - I'm considering doing an indoor triathlon on the weekend of November 8th. If I do, I'll be sure to give you an update as to how it went. 

What are your fall goals? Are they going well?

10.29.2013

One of my biggest passions - International Missions

Today I want to write a about a topic near and dear to my heart - missions. I'm kind of kicking myself for not sharing about this sooner because it's one of my biggest passions in life.  I also know when Amanda designed my new blog I had to include a section for missions to help me get going in this direction. If you look on the left of my sidebar you'll see a little yellow section called 'missions'. I'm hoping to expand on this subject more. I hope you'll check back here often to hear about what God is doing globally.
Missions is sharing the good news of Jesus: that He loves us, died for our sins and came back to life. Missions isn't just telling people about Jesus or being a 'holier than thou' but quiete the opposite. It's living it out. It's loving people, even if they don't believe the same way I do. It's forgiving people who have hurt me because Christ forgave me. It's helping people through hard times. It's walking in love day in and day out. 

Let me also say that missions is everywhere. It isn't limited to those who pack their bags and move internationally. I'll admit though, I have a special place in my heart for international missions. 
I think I'm passionate about missions for several reasons. First off, I think God gave me this desire. I was born in Brazil to parents who were missionaries. We were the perfect family with everything in order ... ha ha ha! Did you really believe that? Growing up on the mission field was great but I also lived with the reality of it too. I saw the good times my parents had as well as the difficult times. I saw my parents serve day in and day out with out lots of breaks. I traveled with them on deputation (aka visiting all the churches who support you). Seeing all the good and all the bad developed in me a love for missionaries and I've wanted to be able to help them in a practical that encourages them while they serve. 
My dream to help missionaries is a big one. My ultimate dream is for Dave and I to own some land with a nice home where missionaries can come and hide away and rest. I'd love to offer them a place (free of charge) where they can unplug, unwind and rejuvenate. Not only do I want to give them a place to relax when they come back to the States but I'd love to go to the mission field and take them needed supplies, home school their kids for a while and just give them some encouragement and friendship. 

I do know that almost no one immediately gets their ultimate dream. A few years ago I decided that I needed to start doing small mission oriented projects with what I have. That has included sending care packages, e-mail, praying, giving when the opportunity arrises and now blogging. I can say that doing these things has been a huge blessing to me. It's made my heart beyond happy to know that a simple e-mail or care package can cheer someone up over seas. 
Sunshine to the Square Inch isn't meant to be just Beka's blog where I blab on and on =). I'm hoping to use that God will use this little space on the web to raise awareness about missions, to provide encouragement to missions and to just see what God can do. With that being said, I'm going to start sharing some missionary profiles with you and I'm BEYOND EXCITED! I created some questions and have sent them to some missionaries. They share lots of exciting things like why they went to the country they did, their favorite food, how people encouraged them and lots of other neat things. The first missionary profile I have will be coming on Monday and I'm thrilled because my parents are my first ones to do this for me. I can't wait to share with you their story. 
Yep! I'm bringing you into this too. I wouldn't leave you out. Each time I have a missionary share about where they are at I'd love for you to participate. You can keep it simple by just writing a note of encouragement in the blog comment section and I will collect them and forward them on. You can also e-mail them personally or better yet send them some snail mail. If you really want you can buy them something =) You can send it directly to me and I'll pay for the international shipping or you can ship it yourself if you'd like. Also, I'd love if you added them to your prayer list for a week, a day or for an extended amount of time. Prayer does wonders and I know they would appreciate it. Of course, I can't force anyone to do any of this (nor do I want to) so if you want to just read about what the lives of missionaries are like that would make me and them just as happy.  

There you have it - my passion about missions all written out. What do you think? Is it something you will enjoy reading? What are your thoughts on missions? 

10.28.2013

What's holding you together?

What holds you together? What is it that makes you keep going day in and day out? What is it that gets you through those hard times? I think if I asked those questions to a variety of people I'd get a vast array of different answers. I think the answers would be something along the line of community, friends, family, positive thinking, hard work, planning and preparing for hard times, etc. The list could go on and on. While all those things are good I think God has a different answer.

To be honest, I didn't think too much about all of this until I sat down the other day to do my devotions and I read II Corinthians 5:14a which says "for the love of Christ constraineth us". Constrain is a word that I didn't know exactly what it meant so I looked it up and it means: to hold together lest it fall to pieces or something fall away from it, to compress, to press together with the hand.


I stopped right there and was just blown away. I realized that it is the love of Christ that holds me together or else I'd fall to pieces. It is the love of Christ that presses me together and holds me in his hand. It is the love of Christ that died on a cross for my sins and rose again. It's with His love that my salvation is secure.
Just to be super practical and honest - it's by Christ love and holding me together that He has brought me through some seasons of depression. His love has brought me back from seasons of rebellion. Christ's love has held me and my family together as we said goodbye to loved ones who have passed away this year. It's all by His love.

I don't think Christ love is just there for the bad times though. I think His love has given me a godly husband that loves me, a family that is close even though we are miles apart, good Christian friends that I can have the time of my life with, times filled with laughter, seasons of peace, and on and on.

Thinking on this verse made me so grateful of the love Jesus has for me and I hope it does the same for you because you are loved!  

Monday Giveaway


Happy Monday Friends! I hope that your week has started out well. Today I'm sharing a giveaway that I'm helping sponsor. Melyssa over at the The Nectar Collective put all of this together and there are some great prizes.

tnc-nov-giveaway-1
a Rafflecopter giveaway

10.24.2013

My week in pictures

Hi Everyone. I hope that your week has gone well. This week for me has had some tremendous highs as well as some tremendous lows and I've struggled to write a lot for my blog. However, I do have some pictures from my week that I wanted to share. Amber over at And Yes to Joy posted about how to enhance your blog posts and I'm using some of her tips to share pictures with you.  

Happy Friday and I wish you a great weekend. 

10.23.2013

yipee a new blog design

Hello lovely blog readers. If you looked at my blog and wondered if something changed, you are very right! Welcome to my new blog design. I'm hoping to use this new design to grow my blog and share more things that I am passionate about with all of you.

Amanda who blogs over at Living in Another Language designed my blog and did such a fantastic job. If you are looking for a new design head right on over to her website - The Suitcase Designs and check out her work.

What do you think of the new design? Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. I'm so appreciative of the readers who take the time to read what I say.

10.21.2013

treat every day like a birthday + a giveaway

Happy Monday everyone. I just realized the title to this post sounds kind of like Buddy the Elf "Treat every day like Christmas". ha! I hope you all had a good weekend and are ready for a new week.
This past weekend we celebrated Dave's birthday and it got me thinking. We spend so much time making someone feel special on their birthday. We make them their favorite food, pick up a meal for them at their favorite restaurant, write a nice card and do everything we can to make sure that person has a perfect day where they feel special. However, I wonder if these 'making someone feel special' practices shouldn't be an every day practice instead of a once a year? I'm not saying to make a cake and get presents every day for someone (although I would love that) but rather to go out of our way to show people they are loved and cared for. I know I need to practice this more. I need to practice this at home with Dave, with my family and even with strangers and I brainstormed several ways we could do this.

Facebook - Instead of waiting for that once a year 'hope you have a happy birthday' post why not write on someone's facebook wall letting them know you are thinking about them and wish them a wonderful day.

Cards - Birthday cards are amazing and I love them but how about sending a card to someone when it isn't their birthday telling them why you appreciate them and how you are thankful they are in your life.

Gifts - Did you know a small gift can go a long way? Sending someone even the smallest of gifts when they don't expect them is a guarantee that they will feel loved.

Kindness - When it's someone's birthday we are above and beyond kind to them. Who wants to be rude to someone on their birthday? Why not practice this all the time? Small acts of kindness go a long way. Even a genuine smile to a stranger goes a long way.  I know I definitely need to practice kindness more.

Food - Don't wait for a birthday to make someone their favorite meal or to bake them their favorite treat. Get that food, bake those treats and surprise someone. I bet when you deliver it you will have a great conversation and will strengthen your friendship.

A Phone Call - An unexpected phone call from a friend would be a great way to show you care. Technology now allows us to text, facebook, give a shout out on twitter etc. but a nice phone call would be great too.

What other ideas do you have to make people feel special? I'd love to hear them in the comments and if you implement one of these this week I'd love to hear about that too.
                                    ______________________________________________________________________________


Speaking of birthdays, how about a little giveaway? I recently opened my Etsy shop and Kelsey over at Hey Kelsea Rae is hosting a giveaway for one of you to win this bag. For a chance to win click right here


10.17.2013

Lately #15

I haven't written a 'lately' post in what feels like forever so I thought I would today.  


First off, Dave's birthday is this Saturday. He will turn the big 29. A few weeks ago he was cracking himself up photo bombing pictures with grumpy cat so I made a few of my own to print off. They will be appearing at his birthday party. 

You guys, me pets are real special. My cat is ridiculously fat. I mean just look at his picture. He is even on a diet and I just can't get him to drop any weight. He is pretty cute though =). Don't you love's Static shamed face in this picture? If she could talk she would say 'please don't post my booties of shame picture to the blog world. pleeeaaase?' We bought here these to take when we go hiking because when we took her hiking this past summer her paws got a wee bit scorched. It was sad you guys, really sad and we felt like the worst dog owners in the world. However, these will be grand and after she starts having funs he won't even notice she is wearing them. 
I'm trying to do the 'no-poo' thing again. By 'no-poo' I mean no shampoo not the other way around. I tried not using shampoo this past summer but with doing crossfit outside and swimming it just wasn't happening. It isn't as gross as it sounds, I promise. If you want to read more about 'no-poo' click right here. Anyways, My good friend Shenel gave me this dry shampoo to help me during my no-poo transition. It's freaking amazing. If you use dry shampoo I highly recommend to buy this one.

I'm making Christmas cards already. This fall weather has inspired me to CRAFT! (I think every season inspires me to craft...) The cooler weather makes me think that Christmas is just around the corner (because it is...yay!) and I'm trying to make cards for people this year. I don't want to be making 50 cards on one day so I'm plugging away on it now.
Do you like homemade granola? A fellow blogger friend kept talking about her homemade granola and she posted her recipe. If you want to check out the recipe you can find it here. I changed a couple of things in mine: I added more coconut oil, left out the vegetable oil, added coconut flakes and some brown sugar. I've been eating it just about every day because it's just that good. 
Lastly, you gotta hear the story of this key board. I volunteer once a week at the senior center here in Woodward. They have a sing-a-long time and I join them. There is a sweet 93 year old man named Jerry that attends. Let me just tell you a bit about Jerry. First off, he loves Jesus. He talks about the Bible, the years he lived in Africa doing mission work and when he talks about people who don't know Jesus he gets tears in his eyes. He is also an American hero. One day he was telling me how he got drafted into the war. I said 'oh, you must have fought in the Korean war'. He chuckled and said 'oh no, I fought in WWII'. I was shocked and told him he definitely was old =-). 

Jerry brings me a gift of some sort just about every week. Usually it is a song he loves, a poem or a short story. A few weeks ago he asked if I had a piano at home. I told him I didn't because I didn't have room. 'Well what about a keyboard?', he asked. I told him I never really thought about that. He then told me he wanted to get me a keyboard. I told him that wasn't necessary and you know how old people can just do what they want because they are old? Well, he just put his hand up implying I should be quiet and then told me he was going to get me a keyboard. Of course this was all in a kind Jerry way, not rude at all. The next week he had my keyboard. He even insisted on unloading it out of his car and putting it in mine. Humbled doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. It was completely overwhelming.  

That keyboard means more to me than just a keyboard. It shows me that even at 93 you can be used by God. Someone told me that every day Jerry just gets up and does what God tells him to do. It shows me that if a 93 year old man is serving God then we should be too. It also shows me that God cares about developing the talents He has given us. I've had a passion for piano since I was a little kid. Every where I go God seems to put a piano or a keyboard where I can access it to practice and play for others. It reminds me that God loves me and that He really cares about our passions. 
I'd love to hear what you have been up to lately, I say that on every post but I really do mean it. Leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. I hope everyone is doing wonderful.  

PS - Sunshine to the Square Inch now has a facebook page! You should come on over and check it out.

10.15.2013

kale, bean, broccoli and chicken soup

Today I'm sharing a recipe for a healthy soup. I scoured all over pinterest for a soup that had kale in it. I found several I liked but never had the ingredients to complete all of the recipes. I decided I'd take what ingredients I had and throw something together. It turned out pretty nice and was easy to make. win. win.

Before I share all the ingredients keep in mind that you can buy canned items instead of cooking everything from scratch. Also, if you don't have all of the ingredients substitute something out that sounds good to you or just leave out an item. Lastly, if you are vegetarian omit the chicken and chicken broth and you will still have a great tasting soup.

Ingredients 

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 onion - minced
  • 1 T. garlic - minced
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 T. Italian Season
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 chicken breast or 1 can of chicken
  • 1/2 c. navy beans uncooked or 1 can of cooked navy beans
  • 1 head of broccoli chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale chopped



Directions

  • If you have the uncooked navy beans cook them in a separate pan according to the directions on the package.
  • Heat the olive oil and sautĂ© the onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth, water, Italian seasoning, lemon, salt and pepper. 
  • Place the chicken breast directly into the broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked shred it and put it back in the pot with the broth. (Did you know you can shred chicken in a blender? It takes literally 1-2 seconds)
  • Add the broccoli and kale and cook on low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes. 

That's it! It's super simple, healthy and tastes delicious. I served some naan (also easy to make) with the soup. You can find that recipe by clicking here.

What's your favorite soup? Do you have any favorite kale recipes? For more yummy recipes check out this recipe link up!

10.14.2013

Prairie Fire 1/2 Marathon + Running Tips

As many of you know I ran a 1/2 marathon this past weekend in my hometown of Wichita. I wanted to give you a run down (pun intended ... your welcome!) of how it went.
I'll be the first to admit, for this race, I trained the least I ever had. I originally had a written plan of my training schedule and had high hopes to come in under two hours, which would have been a PR. My 1/2 marathon training and crossfit both began in July. After crossfit I just couldn't muster up the energy to run. Then after a month or two I just got lazy with my training (cone of shame moment). I'll be honest, my longest training run for this 1/2 was a whole whopping 5 miles. gasp! However, I did crossfit 3-4 times a week and it saved me on the 1/2. Crossfit builds some good mental endurance and it definitely helped during my run which overall, went well. I loved running through my hometown and Dave was a trooper and ran with me for encouragement. The biggest issue I had was my IT band flared at mile 3 and hurt the remaining 10 miles. I had to stop about 5-10 times to stretch my cramped leg and that darn leg slowed me down. I came in at 2:32 but for not training I think I did pretty well.

Other than giving a run down on how my 1/2 went I wanted to share 5 race day tips with you. This 1/2 marathon was my 7th one and I think I've learned some good lessons along the way.

1. make up your mind - a few nights before the race you mentally need to go through your race, go over how well you trained, and tell yourself you will do it. Mind over matter is true.

2. have all your gear ready - No one wants to wake up race morning and search for their gear. Trust me, I've done it, and let me tell you ... I'm a scrambling panicked mess! After a few of those miserable mornings I made a list on my iPhone of everything I need. I have everything from shoes, my race bib all the way down to underwear and what earrings I'm wearing. Use that list when you pack for your race and the night before have everything sat out and ready to go.

3. food & hydration - 2 days before you need to start hydrating. Also, by hydrate I don't mean drink 5 gallons of extra water (that can be harmful). However do drink a bit extra water, drink juice and I even drink coffee. Also, eat a few extra carbs but don't over eat. You don't want to be at the porter potties on race day with the big 'D' from stuffing your face with a massive amount of carbs.

4. racing buddy - For me this one is crucial. I run so much better when someone is running next to me, especially distance runs. My work spouse ran my first full marathon with me and my husband ran this last half marathon with me. Every long distance race where someone runs with it goes so much better. Friends can provide encouragement to each other as well as give you that extra push to get to the finish line. I'd also recommend discussing how you best encourage each other. For example, the night before this past 1/2, Dave and I discussed that I would think positive and that he would give me positive reinforcement. If you discuss how you are best encouraged that will pay off on race day.
5. race day support - Recruit some friends to cheer you on. I know, it isn't fun to ask people to get up at 6am to come clap and cheer but it makes all the difference and they often enjoy it as well. When I ran my full marathon, my brother and Mom met us on a couple of different spots and my brother called my phone several times to check where I was at and to keep telling me to 'put one foot in front of the other'. This past race my sister-in-law found us on 3 different spots and had the family dog there to cheer us on. My sister was also there as well as several other people. Knowing people will see you on the course will help you stay running (you don't want to get caught walking) and they will motivate you to get to that finish line.
So, there you have it, 5 race day tips. I hope they help. Have you run a half marathon? Have any good tips? I'd love to hear them.

10.11.2013

Friday's Letters . 7

Dear Weekend, I'm looking forward to going home and seeing family. I know we visit home a lot but it's so nice. Dear Half Marathon, ha ha ha! My longest run consisted of a whopping 5 miles but I'm hoping crossfit will make up for some of that. Although I'm not completely ready I'm still pumped to run through my hometown. Dear Etsy, You are finally open. To see my shop click here. I'd love some feedback so let me know what you think and of course if you want to buy something I'd love that too =).
Dear Kristen, I randomly met you in Kansas City and you took me under you wing during my first half marathon and helped me finish. That was almost 3 years ago. This week you were my first customer on my Etsy shop. THANK YOU! Dear Dave, your birthday is this coming week. You will be the big 29. I'm looking forward to celebrating with you. Dear Americans and Christians, I know so many are in panic mode about the government shutdown but please remember God is on his throne and He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Do your part as an American to help changes occur but don't forget our ultimate security is in Him and not in any government.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy this weather and the pretty blue skies winter will be here before you know it, so soak it up! For more Friday Letters check out the link up on the sweet season.
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10.10.2013

never have I ever drank snake blood and other various things

Alright friends, today I'm joining a link up from a blog I love called The Lady Okie. You gotta go check out her blog. Her writing will make you laugh, a lot. Today she is hosting a one day link up called 'Never will I Ever'. You still have time to enter if you want. 

'Never Have I Ever'

1. Never have I ever drink snake blood like Dave and Ethan did. This nasty disgusting occurrence happened during a visit to Taipei, Taiwan. For starters where this happens is called 'snake alley'. It should be renamed 'run away right now or you might cry and barf alley'. This alley is filled with all kinds of creatures you can eat. We even walked by one shop cutting a live turtle, eeeek! Pita doesn't exist there, I'm sure of it. 


2. Never have I ever run an ultra marathon. Seriously, don't all these runners  understand how bad your body hurts after 26.2 miles? I mean, you can't walk, sit, stand, move or lay down without severe pain. Ultra? No, thanks!
 picture via funny words inspired by Sweet Brown ;)

3. Never have I ever live in Oklahoma. Oh wait, I live here. Ha! I seriously told myself that before I got here. Alaska and Oklahoma were the last two states I ever wanted to live in. God sure has a better plan than my own and I'm so thankful He does. If Alaska is on that list can it please be during summer? 
What have you never done? Is there something you have seen that just makes you cringe and say 'no way'!? Also, for more of 'never have I ever' links click on the button below.

10.09.2013

Kids College - Geoge

This post isn't for fun but is to inform anyone who is inquiring information regarding  Kids College, on Geoje Island.The facts stated are to protect the teachers and to inform of business practices conducted at the school. I don't hold any hard feelings towards the owners, I actually like them, but their business practices need to be exposed. 

Upon arrival the school seemed normal. They gave us an apartment, we shadowed the teachers for one day and had one day of orientation before beginning teaching. On the first day of teaching our Vice Principal asked us if we wanted to sign up for pension. She told us that iwas a big hassle, that the money was for retirement and that it wasn't worth it. Ignorantly, all three of us teachers declined pension. Three months after school began we discovered how great pension was for Americans and asked our school to enroll us. They were very hostile about it and told us that "money doesn't grow on trees". They did sign us up for pension but were not professional about it.   

A week or two after arrival our Vice Principal informed us that it was customary to release our passport to the school owners. All three of us teachers refused to do so. Releasing of a passport was not customary like the owners said. They were attempting to keep our passports to manipulate us. 
The contract with kids college stated that any over time would be paid a rate of W17,000($17.00) per hour. After working overtime and inquiring of our pay, we were told if the owners were to be asked to pay the due overtime that they would " make our lives miserable." No over time was ever paid. If we stayed late, the school would sometimes buy us dinner and that was very much appreciated.

Another difficult and for me the worst part of it all is the following. The contract stated that if someone died or if there was an emergency back home we were released for 10 days. If someone added on an 'emergency' to a holiday vacation 50% of their bonus was forfeited. My fiancĂ©es mother, in October of 2012, was diagnosed with cancer. I informed the school of this as I thought it was important for them to know in case something were to happen. In December, when the school was buying our flights home for our end of year contracts that ended in February, I asked if I could add insurance to my flight (insurance paid by me) in case something were to happen to my mother in law. The school owners denied my request and became very hostile. They told me to write and sign on paper that I would leave immediately or stay no matter what happened to my mother in law. I refused to do that and informed them that according to my contract, if someone died, I had 10 days of leave as well as 2 sick days. I was screamed at, was told how irresponsible I was and was asked why they couldn't just 'cut the cancer out of her?'. They also looked for my replacement without telling me, or without me signing a contract to leave. I discovered this by reading a blog from the teacher that was to be coming in February. She posted that they wanted her to come in December. After a month or two of heated discussions they eventually purchased my tickets home and allowed me to purchase insurance. My mother in law did pass away on February 5th. I had 10 teaching days left and 12 days of leave. Her death happened during a holiday which forfeited 50% of my bonus pay. The school, after I purchased my ticket home with my own money, asked me to stay. They informed me that the school could close down with out me. According to the contract the school was to pay me for days worked, 50% of my severance pay, and they were to return the W600,000 ($600.00)apartment deposit that they withheld from my paycheck. The school did not pay me anything. They threatened to call my bank and take my money.They shorted me of around $3,000. They told me they would not reimburse me for money from my apartment because that money was to be used for hiring a substitute teacher. The school hired a sub for 2-3 days but my co-teachers took the full brunt of teaching their kids plus my own. Not only did they do all that but after I told them I purchased my ticket home to attend the funeral the school owner called immigration requesting that I be stopped on my way out of Korea. Thankfully, immigration denied their request. I attempted to negotiate with the owners reasonable solutions but it was of no effect. They only asked me to stay and not go home. 


Again, I don't post this to be vindictive or mean, however I don't want anyone to experience what I went through as it was extremely difficult and traumatic. However, as hard as it was I wouldn't trade that year. The teacher before us told us that the kids are the best part of the job and you better believe 100% I agree with that. Teaching in Korea is great but there are many other jobs out there. 

There is also a facebook page for Geoeje Teachers. Before basing everything on what have I written I'd encourage you to go there and consult other teachers from Kids College as well. If you would like that page the link is the following: https://www.facebook.com/groups/23316238780/

If you have any questions regarding Kids College please contact me at sunshine2thesquareinch@gmail.com

10.08.2013

Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival

Can I just begin by saying I don't even know how to describe this festival. It was hands down one of my favorite trips, ever! Have you ever looked forward to something so long that when you finally experience it you just want to jump up and down? Maybe, just I'm that way?...Well instead of jumping up and down I clapped my hands. I figured clapping was a good compromise since Dave and my parents were with me.  

The balloon fiesta occurs every October in Albuquerque. Albuquerque is known as the hot-air balloon capital of the world. The festival lasts a week long and is packed with events so you can get your fill. We picked two events to attend: mass ascension and the balloon glow.

Mass ascension happens early! The early morning alarms went off at 5:30am, we were out the door by 6am and still didn't arrive in time at 7am when everything began. However, we got to see plenty. What is great about this festival is that you don't have to sit in bleachers and observe from far away. You are right there on the field watching the crew set up the balloon then launching it. Once they launch every one claps which is really good because I've already been clapping by my lonesome self for quiet some time. You can walk around and see as many balloons as you'd like.

Can I get a big shout out to New Mexico for creating such a mind blowing event? 
The pretty normal ones 
 The stand up and make you want to holler balloons
If only my Korean kids were here to enjoy the angry bird...
 
The balloon glow happened right as the sun was setting and continued in the pitch black sky making it all the prettier. 
 Picture over load right? What do you think about hot air balloons? If you have a bucket list you might as well add this one right on! 

10.07.2013

Snail Mail Collective from England

I got back from Albuquerque today to find my snail mail collective package all the way from England sitting in my mail box. I was super duper excited about it!!! I didn't even wait to get inside I ripped that packaged right open! 

Before I share about the goodies I have want to give a big shout out to my snail mail partner, Laura Johnson. We are not related but thought sharing the same last name was fun. She is one of the sweetes girls I've met via blog world and I loved e-mailing her and learning about her culture and about her life. You can check out her fun blog here


Now onto the fun snail mail. For starters, check out the fun stamps they have over in England. That alone made me elated. 

Inside was a cute owl journal, kitty cat sticky notes, gel pens, stickers and a postcard with a sweet note written on it. 

meow! meow! How fun are these? 
Thanks so much Laura Jo, brightened my day.

Want to participate in the Snail Mail Collective? It's fun and did I mention it's free??? You sign up each month so there is no commitment. For more information click on the link above.

10.05.2013

Palo Duro Canyon

Well Dave and I's latest adventure was Palo Duro Canyon located near Amarillo, TX. How Dave finds out about all of these hiking places I'll never know, but he does. I guess it is kind of like how I find coffee shops in the middle of no where. =) It's pure skill, I tell ya.
 
 Our original plan was to camp and hike at the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma but rains swept across all of Oklahoma and cancelled that for us. Instead we drove over to Amarillo, TX, spent the night at a hotel and hiked the next day. Palo Duro Canyon is the 2nd largest in the US (after the Grand Canyon).

We hiked a bunch. Honestly, more than I expected (around 13 miles) and I ended up being a mean grouchy bear (poor Dave). We bickered more than we ever had (gasp!) and we both figured out real quick that bickering isn't so fun. After we got home we talked things out and are fine but I gotta say ... hiking and bickering don't go so well together. I'm thankful for forgiveness and getting over things quickly. Anyways, besides me being grouchy and the bickering we still managed to have a good time and the canyon was rather beautiful. I got to use my new camera and try out some different settings on it and I even surprised myself at some of the pictures I took.

If you look really close you can see the moon in this picture. I loved the red canyons against the blue sky - God makes beautiful things. 


 
I love the burst of color in the dessert like setting; a good reminder that even in 'dry seasons' of life there is something good and beautiful. 

Check out this little lizard. I kind of like him. Dave and I see all kinds of lizards and I enjoy it now rather than screaming like I used to. 
 and check out this cute little wiener dog. I think he is so cute, and tough. This hike was almost 6 miles and he had gray hair on him. What a good dog. 
We also saw a tarantula. I took a picture but no way do I want to post a nasty thing like that on my blog. Well, that was our short over night trip. Do you like to hike? Any one have any favorite hiking spots? 
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