The ground is level at the foot of the cross....recovering addict rescued by the saving grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Monday, December 29, 2008

November Pictures

The kids of our friends, Randy and Tammy & the Kim's at the Myeongdong shopping district right before Mary went in for her surgery.  Myeongdong is the fashion district in Seoul.


Anna with her Kitty Hat and gloves

Phillip with his friends, Walker and Jin on a field trip.

Mary and I went out with two other couples from the neighborhood on a fun night out.  This is us at Amigo's enjoying some good 80's music.  From left to right are Randy, Emma, Nate, Tammy, me, and Mary.




Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Halloween 2008

We had a great Halloween this year. They did the actual Trick or Treating on Saturday to help the "Weekend Warriors." These are all the Soldiers that are separated from their families during the week because they are stationed north of Seoul. They come down on the weekend to be with their families and then go back up north for the work week.

We went to a Halloween Party at Jeremy and Trish's house on Friday and then went trick or treating on Saturday. Here are some pictures:







Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anna's First Ballet Dance

Last month, Anna had her first ballet performance. Here are the videos.



Friday, October 10, 2008

Nick's Yellow Belt Test

Last month, Nick tested for his Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon Do. These are the videos from the test and of Nick getting belt the next day.



Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kids Karaoke

Here are my kids in all their singing glory.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shopping in Korea

This is one of the underground shopping areas in Seoul. We have been doing a lot of shopping since arriving here! Soon we're going to start checking other things out, but shopping is a good way to start things out I guess and it's also one of the easiest things to do since there are shopping areas all around us within subway and walking distance.

The family finally got to ride a subway during rush hour. Since we had the stroller, we were even more packed in than normal. Poor Marina had to lean over the stroller because there were so many people. When we were getting ready to get out of the subway we stacked up and just shoved our way out. I'm so proud of my family!

Phillip's Kumdo Yellow Belt Test

Last week Phillip tested for his Yellow Belt in Kumdo. Here is the video of his test.



Monday, July 21, 2008

Flight to Korea

Last week we left the US for Korea. It was quite an adventure and there were a lot of unforeseen bumps in the road. First, we had to reschedule the flight because United Airlines told us the Tokyo-Narita airport didn’t allow pets through it. This surprised Fort Leavenworth, but they found us a flight for the next day that went from San Francisco to Seoul. We called at least 3 times to confirm our new reservation and make sure that we had everything ready so we could bring our dog Zoey. The army wouldn’t pay for our flight from Minnesota, where we were on leave, so we had to rent two vehicles and drive back down to Kansas to fly out. We arrived a day early and checked in at the United desk to make sure that we bought the right type of kennel to fly with. They told us that since Zoey was flying in the cabin, any type of kennel would do, so we bought a soft kennel at Wal-Mart and thought we were ready for the flight.

The next day we woke up at 2 AM, turned in our rental vehicles at the airport, and were at the ticketing desk at 4 AM, just like the reservations people told us. United didn’t open the desk until 5 AM, only one hour before we flew out. We went up to the counter and the agent told us that Fort Leavenworth failed to pay for the tickets, even though the seats were reserved (that would have been good info to know the other three times we called!). I called Fort Leavenworth, but nobody was at work, so I called the travel emergency number in Texas, where they told me that in order for them to help me, I needed to FAX a copy of my orders. Have you ever tried to find a FAX machine at a small airport 45 minutes before you depart for an international flight? Needless to say it took me awhile, but after 20 minutes of a panic run up and down the terminal I found a woman who was kind enough to help me. With 25 minutes left, the emergency travel line told me that they needed to now call their bosses at home so they could approve my ticket. Apparently they couldn’t do this during the 20 minutes that I was running around looking for a FAX machine! Needless to say, I missed my flight, but the emergency travel people reserved me the next flight, which would take us through the dreaded Tokyo-Narita airport. We checked with three different United agents and all of them said that they never heard of Tokyo not allowing pets, so we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. At 7:30AM the people at Fort Leavenworth came into the office. I called them at 7:31 AM and after 20 more minutes they agreed to pay for my new ticket. We immediately went to the ticketing counter (we had been sitting in front of it for almost 4 hours already) and got our boarding passes and headed through the security checkpoint and to the gate. We were on our way!

At 10 AM United announced that our flight was delayed for 45 minutes and there was no way we would be able to make our connection in Chicago. Also, that flight was the only flight for the day, so we needed to go back to ticketing to find a new flight. So we picked up our bags and our dog and went back to the counter. Our United agent’s name was Phil and he couldn’t find us room on any flight for the next several days because all the flights were full for pets. He worked for an hour straight with us even though there was a long line of less-than-patient customers behind us. He tried everything in the book, even trying to get us into business class in the hopes that it would count as a different cabin and have room for pets. It didn’t. While waiting I said a prayer and asked God for someone to cancel their reservation, but then I took it back because I didn’t want anything bad to happen to someone. About five minutes later, Phil looked at his monitor in shock and said that someone just cancelled and we would be able to make the next day’s flight! What an incredible God moment. This still stuns me and just puts me in total awe that God would take the time to work in our lives.

So we went back to the hotel, after we got all of our bags back off of the plane. In the confusion I loaded all our bags into the wrong shuttle van and then had to unload them. I grumbled about how unfriendly Indian people were, only to have the next shuttle van driver, who was from India, be incredibly friendly and helpful to us. Yet another humbling moment for the day.

The next day we got up and made our flight. There were no problems with our flight through Tokyo and the whole family, including Zoey, where absolutely spectacular. We arrived in Seoul and after about an hour of going through immigration/customs and the Army in-processing checkpoint we linked up with my sponsor. We load all of our stuff in the Bongo truck and then piled into the mini-van. We were on our way!

The van wouldn’t start.

20 minutes later, the flood van engine started and we were on our way!

We got lost in Seoul and spent 30 minutes driving in a circle. Mary received her introduction to Korean driving and she loved it. At one stop there was a motorcycle with a husband, wife, and an infant in the mom’s arms. My thought was, “I wonder why the infant’s not wearing a helmet?”

So after all of that, we made it here safely and gratefully. God provided us with a beautiful home on post after only a week and we have Zoey back with us (she had to stay in a kennel while we were in the hotel). I started my new job on Friday and am very excited about the future.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blog Redesign

We thought that it was time to retire our old blog design (Kidz Gone Wild), which was up and running for almost 2 years. The old blog was very cluttered and I thought that I would streamline it and bring the focus back on to the post, rather than all the banners and widgets, although I had to retain the KC Wizards widget. Eventually, I will create a new header graphic and logo of the family, but I really liked this layout. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Marina's baptism

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Trip to Mount Olympus

We visited Wisconsin on our way to Korea. We got to spend the week with Tony and Deb and while we were there we went to the Mount Olympus amusement park. Tony took his son, Ethan and Nick on the Hades roller coaster. The boys really enjoyed the ride.........



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Food for thought

Monday, June 09, 2008

Anna at Church

Here are two videos of Anna's pre-school group dancing at the Open Door Baptist Church, KS for our last Sunday service before we moved.



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Marina's commercial

Marina and her friends put together this commercial. It's really funny and came together pretty well. Maybe we have a videographer in the family.

video

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Zoey and the Robot

We went to the kids' school carnival and used our game tickets to buy a RoboQuad toy robot. It's like a Furby on steroids and does a lot of neat things, but Zoey has a different opinion.



video

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Father-Daughter Banquet

A couple of weekends ago I got to go out on a date with two girls!! The introduced us as Mike Pavek and Princess Anna and Princess Marina. Here's a picture of my beautiful ladies.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

The CG on the Daily Show

OK, I don't buy everything that the Command and General Staff College tells us, and when it comes to balancing homework and a schedule the schoolhouse really stumbles, but this was pretty sweet.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Anything But Silent



This video asks some serious questions that I find myself sometimes asking. What has been your experience with God? Do your questions go unanswered?

On a different topic, I'm looking at redesigning the blog. Any recommendations?

Friday, February 29, 2008

Family Portrait

Here's a recent picture of the family taken just this month.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fritz's Railroad Restaurant

My brother Joe visited us and we went to eat at a restaurant where they served your food using a train. Here's a video of that.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pictures

Here are a few recent pics from Grandpa's funeral.

Us and our cousins


My cousin and I


My dad and Zoey

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Doctors use Wii games for rehab therapy

Yet one more reason to love your Wii......




By LINDSEY TANNER

CHICAGO (AP) — Some call it "Wiihabilitation."

Nintendo's Wii video game system, whose popularity already extends beyond the teen gaming set, is fast becoming a craze in rehab therapy for patients recovering from strokes, broken bones, surgery and even combat injuries.

The usual stretching and lifting exercises that help the sick or injured regain strength can be painful, repetitive and downright boring.

In fact, many patients say PT — physical therapy's nickname — really stands for "pain and torture," said James Osborn, who oversees rehabilitation services at Herrin Hospital in southern Illinois.

Using the game console's unique, motion-sensitive controller, Wii games require body movements similar to traditional therapy exercises. But patients become so engrossed mentally they're almost oblivious to the rigor, Osborn said.

"In the Wii system, because it's kind of a game format, it does create this kind of inner competitiveness. Even though you may be boxing or playing tennis against some figure on the screen, it's amazing how many of our patients want to beat their opponent," said Osborn of Southern Illinois Healthcare, which includes the hospital in Herrin. The hospital, about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, bought a Wii system for rehab patients late last year.

"When people can refocus their attention from the tediousness of the physical task, oftentimes they do much better," Osborn said.

Nintendo Co. doesn't market Wii's potential use in physical therapy, but company representative Anka Dolecki said, "We are happy to see that people are finding added benefit in rehabilitation."

The most popular Wii games in rehab involve sports — baseball, bowling, boxing, golf and tennis. Using the same arm swings required by those sports, players wave a wireless controller that directs the actions of animated athletes on the screen.

The Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital west of Chicago recently bought a Wii system for its spinal cord injury unit.

Pfc. Matthew Turpen, 22, paralyzed from the chest down in a car accident last year while stationed in Germany, plays Wii golf and bowling from his wheelchair at Hines. The Des Moines, Iowa, native says the games help beat the monotony of rehab and seem to be doing his body good, too.

"A lot of guys don't have full finger function so it definitely helps being able to work on using your fingers more and figuring out different ways to use your hands" and arms, Turpen said.

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the therapy is well-suited to patients injured during combat in Iraq, who tend to be in the 19 to 25 age range — a group that's "very into" playing video games, said Lt. Col. Stephanie Daugherty, Walter Reed's chief of occupational therapy.

"They think it's for entertainment, but we know it's for therapy," she said.

It's useful in occupational therapy, which helps patients relearn daily living skills including brushing teeth, combing hair and fastening clothes, Daugherty said.

WakeMed Health has been using Wii games at its Raleigh, N.C., hospital for patients as young as 9 "all the way up to people in their 80s," said therapist Elizabeth Penny.

"They're getting improved endurance, strength, coordination. I think it's very entertaining for them," Penny said.

"It really helps the body to loosen up so it can do what it's supposed to do," said Billy Perry, 64, a retired Raleigh police officer. He received Wii therapy at WakeMed after suffering a stroke on Christmas Eve.

Perry said he'd seen his grandchildren play Wii games and was excited when a hospital therapist suggested he try it.

He said Wii tennis and boxing helped him regain strength and feeling in his left arm.

"It's enjoyable. I know I'm going to participate with my grandkids more when I go visit them," Perry said.

While there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that Wii games help in rehab, researcher Lars Oddsson wants to put the games to a real test.

Oddsson is director of the Sister Kenny Research Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. The center bought a Wii system last summer and is working with the University of Minnesota to design a study that will measure patients' function "before and after this 'Wiihab,' as someone called it," Oddsson said.

"You can certainly make a case that some form of endurance related to strength and flexibility and balance and cardio would be challenged when you play the Wii," but hard scientific proof is needed to prove it, Oddsson said.

Meantime, Dr. Julio Bonis of Madrid says he has proof that playing Wii games can have physical effects of another kind.

Bonis calls it acute "Wiiitis" — a condition he says he developed last year after spending several hours playing the Wii tennis game.

Bonis described his ailment in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine — intense pain in his right shoulder that a colleague diagnosed as acute tendonitis, a not uncommon affliction among players of real-life tennis.

Bonis said he recovered after a week of ibuprofen and no Wii, and urged doctors to be aware of Wii overuse.

Still, as a Wii fan, he said in an e-mail that he could imagine more moderate use would be helpful in physical therapy "because of the motivation that the game can provide to the patient."

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Berkeley to Marines: You're 'not welcome in our city'

I found this aticle on CNN. As member of the Armed Services that has proudly served for 12 year I'm sworn to defend the Constitution and the rights inherent to that document. This includes the freedom of speech which the people of Berkeley are obviously happy to utilize. However, while I'm proud to defend such rights, I find it truly disgusting what the city council of Berkeley has done here. I wonder if this city would request the assistance of the same Armed Services that they scorn in a nautural disaster? Please continue to support the brave men and women who risk their lives everday despite the public ridicule and condemnation that they receive from ungrateful people such as the townsfolk of Berkeley.

By Wayne Drash
CNN

(CNN) -- Berkeley, the famously liberal college town in California, has taken aim at Marine recruiters, saying they are "not welcome in our city."

Republican lawmakers in Washington fired back this week, threatening to take back more than $2 million of federal funding to the city as well as money designated for the University of California-Berkeley, the campus that became a haven of protests during the Vietnam War.

The battle erupted after the Berkeley City Council approved a measure last week urging the Marine recruiters to leave their downtown office.

"If recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders," the item says.

It goes on to say the council applauds residents and organizations that "volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley." See photos of protesters camped outside Marine office »

Outside the Shattuck Avenue recruiting station earlier this week, a handful of protesters with the anti-war group Code Pink camped out, strumming a guitar as they sang anti-war songs and held signs against the Iraq war.

"Time to end the war, time to end the war, time to end the war right now," they sang to the beat of "I've Been Working on the Railroad." Watch protesters sing "I Ain't Afraid" »

One giant sign said, "No Military Predators in Our Town." Another message on a pink placard read, "Join the Marines. Travel to Exotic Lands. Meet Exciting and Unusual People -- And Kill Them."

Zanne Joi peered out from under her straw hat. "This Marine recruiting station is trying to recruit our youth to go to Iraq to kill and be killed. And we are against that," said Joi, a member of Code Pink Women for Peace.

"This is part of a multi-pronged effort to end this war."

Protester Sharon Adams added: "This recruiting station recruits people to go fight and then once they fight and they serve their country, our country doesn't take care of them. That's a shame."

But not everyone here supports the protesters.Watch young men confront protesters »

Forrest Smith, who described himself as a veteran of U.S. Special Forces, said his son recently returned from a tour in Iraq and his daughter served in Afghanistan.

"My position on this is the Marines are the best thing we have," said Smith, decked out in Army fatigues.

He blasted the City Council for its action. "It's clearly an abuse of power."

A group of young students who strolled down the sidewalk shared that sentiment. They derided one of the protesters who argued the United States was involved in an illegal war in Iraq.

"Where's the logic in that whatsoever?" one of the young men said. "That's our national security, and you're here protesting the Marines."

Another said, "It makes me sick. It makes me sick."

Gunnery Sgt. Pauline Franklin, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, told CNN there is "no plan for that office to move."

She said recruiters are there to "provide information to qualified men and women who are looking for opportunities that they may benefit from by serving in the military."

"The Marine Corps is here to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which does guarantee the freedom of speech," Franklin said. "In terms of the situation in Berkeley, the City Council and the protesters are exercising their right to do so."

In Washington, a group of Republican lawmakers have introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008 -- named after the Marine motto -- to rescind more than $2 million of funds for Berkeley and transfer it to the Marine Corps.

"Like most Americans, I really get disturbed when taxpayer money goes to institutions which proceed to take votes, make policy or make statements that really denigrate the military," said Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, a co-sponsor of the bill.

He told CNN he believes the bill will pass. "I think it's going to have significant support."

The bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, said in a written statement, "Berkeley needs to learn that their actions have consequences."

Berkeley's declaration, which was introduced by the city's Peace and Justice Commission, accuses the United States of having a history of "launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran."

It adds, "Military recruiters are salespeople known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits."

Out on Shattuck Avenue, it appears the protesters have no plans to leave anytime soon. "We are the civilian population; we control the military," Adams said. "We the people have to take back our control of the military."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Halloween '07 video

I love this video because it captures one of those casual moments with conversations about nothing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

An Incredible Gift

I found this on GodTube and just had to share it. The girl is only 11 years old!