In Christ Alone, I

I am able
not to sin.

I am able
not to sin.

By grace you have been saved and not of yourselves, lest you boast.
-Ephesians 2:8 (paraphrased)

There is a moment in time, when you realize or acknowlege or accept that you are
saved. That is complete. Whole. By grace you have been saved...

But then we have to walk this earth until He calls us home. That walk is the road of sanctification. That walk is hard! (Did you have to read Pilgrim's Progress in high school?) But the walk is by grace, too! With the same power that He saved us, He will lead us on our walk.

I am able
not to sin.

Oh, we'll continue to sin, alright! But now we have the power (of God) NOT to sin!

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you
and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
- Jeremiah 1:19 (NIV)

I am able not to gossip. Not to be petty. Not to be vain. I am able not to let indignities fester.

"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things."
- Phillippians 4:8 (NIV)



I hear ya, John Lennon

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monsters gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here

Beautiful, Beautiful, beautiful, Beautiful Boy...

Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better

Beautiful Boy. . .

Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait
To see you
to come of age
But I guess we'll both
Just have to be patient

Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is just what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans

Beautiful Boy. . .
Sarang hayo.
I love you, Boo.
Words and Music by John Lennon


Go Directly to Jail

DH runs an office full of lovely, competent people. But by statistics, he should have one problem person. And he does. I'm cooking dinner, as he tells me of one more incident. I raise my voice in indignation, when Boo comes in to say, "Mommy, I don't like the way you're talking." I explain that we are not fighting, but oma is upset because somebody is being mean to daddy.

He sits down on the kitchen floor. His face is tight with all the restraint a little 6 year old can muster, and tears begin to fill his eyes.

"Is someone trying to put him in jail, or kill him?"

Oh, Lord, help me now.



How Dry I Am! How Hot I Am!

I'm not feeling too profound lately. I'm just not feelin it. But I did do some great shopping!

Check this stuff out for Boo:

Didja catch the labels?? OK, not that I am necessarily a label-hound. It's just that these brands tend to have good fabric and nice designs. If you don't know greendog, it's sold at major department store and just a good, reliable brand.

{{Added}} Oh my - I sound like I need ESL. What I meant was, "It's just that these brands tend to have good fabrics and nice designs. If you don't know greendog, it's sold at major department stores and is just a good, reliable brand."

A whopping $8.48:

If new and not on sale:
Blue oxford shirt: about 24.50
Striped dress shirt: about 42.00
New with label linen pants: about 32.00




No Wading

I am not a poet, though my heart longs to be poetic. I can only speak plainly: It was a beautiful day today, clear blue skies, bees buzzing. A light breeze.

Days like this I am particularly grateful to be a stay-at-home to my son. We went to a borough park to enjoy. . . to enjoy each other. . . to enjoy life. Hide n Seek. Saying hello to daddy in the middle of his busy day.

Boo and I were both easy. No reprimands, no time-ins, no defiance. For either one of us. :-)

What child can resist a fountain on a warm day?

And there, we even had our own little rainbow, in our own little world.

All seemed right in it.

Even if there was a little cloud hanging over us:



What Did We Do Before?

I didn't quite panic. But it was definitely uncomfortable. I checked every 15 seconds for the blinking lights.
No internet.
No cable.

It all came back in 2 hours. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.



The Olympic Korean baseball team won the final game against Cuba to win the gold! Korea was not a metal* favorite, but their Olympic record is 9-0.
That means, they won every. single. game they played.
I am just as happy when Korea wins as when the US wins. OK, maybe I'm a tad happier when Korea wins because, well, they're like the size of New Jersey. I have a soft spot for underdogs.
*ha! no pun intended. Gold metal/medal, get it?


Boo has a very long attention span. That would be a euphemism for "obssessive." This kid has been fascinated with elevators and sliding doors since he was about 18 months old. He also loves garage doors. Though still fascinated by the plain ole residential kind, he has now moved on to fire stations. He realizes how much more variety there are to them. He will just stand there, stare at the gears and tracks and ask how it operates, who operates it, how fast it is, is it bigger than so-and-so, compare the window pattern to others he's seen, etc. etc.

So it's mechanical things he's interested in: vacuums, lawn mowers, snow blowers and construction equipment. All this is a preamble to the fact that today, something clicked with him. Although he's had his Tinker Toys for years, he's finally "got" it. Don't you love it when you see a light come on in your child?


Here he is with his vacuum cleaner.

Please, I Want to Get Off!

I've had a trying 24 hours.

  • I forgot to pick up the church bulletins from the printer. The place isn't open on the weekend. So I had to do them all over. I only had obnoxious pink paper to copy them on.
  • I dropped and shattered a bowl. Of kimchee.
  • Boo was having a hard time. At a store ofcourse. In public. I was unsympathetic and harsh. Which made him go into melt-down mode. I think I'm pretty tuned-in to this Only of mine, but yesterday, I totally missed the mark. We came home and I knew he just had to have a nap. Then I fell asleep, too. (It's heck when you've had insomnia for 22 years.)
  • Which made us miss an appointment with a friend.
  • Which made her really mad. The proverbial last straw.

    I recently wrote about Friendships in response to the Internet Cafe Chat: What is the hardest thing about friendships?

When words fall out of our mouths, dead, dry, and pile up in the space between us. One thing you can count on with us women-folk: WE CAN TALK THINGS OUT! But when that fails? Well, I lose a little Hope. . . .

This is what's happening with me and this friend. I cry "uncle" cuz that's one of those American sayings that'd be appropriate, but I never did understand it. Please, God, can I take a break and get off of Life for just a little bit?

. . . live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. . . .to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3: 8,9 (NKJV)



How to Eat Dim Sum (or "Touch the Heart")

We had business in Center City, so our little family was up at the crack of dawn and speeding down the Schuykill Expressway. We were near a city park and so Boo had time to monkey around on the monkey bars and release some energy. We all know that a 6 year old boy needs to release some energy after a car ride.

It was a cool, clear day. More like Spring than the end of August. Philly is known for their sweltering heat, much like Baltimore or DC. This summer has been mild, though, and I've been luvinnit. We had no other agenda after our business transaction, so we decided to head to Chinatown for Dim Sum, a treat we hadn't had for several years. The fresh vegetable markets contrasted the smells from the sidewalk garbage. The cartons of fresh fish and crabs along the sidewalk, women picking through boxes of lychee and mango. The sweet aroma from the bakeries, people bumping and jostling. People I encounter speaking Chinese to me. The long, blank stares I give them finally brings them to speak undulating English to me.

When I was in college, we'd get up in the double-digits on a Saturday, having spent a late night dancing to Donna Summer and Lipps Inc (do I date myself??) We'd share a cab to Chinatown and look for these little plates and bowls of delectible snacks - the perfect food to energize you after a night of partying. In those days, we'd go to Imperial Inn, chosen the best of Philly and rated by Zagat. Well, what a delight that not a thing has changed in all these years! The decor is the same, the food is just as good. And greasy.

If you go to a traditional place, sit down and wait for the tea, and think "Chinese tapas." Your table will probably have a bottle of soy sauce and a jar of hot pepper oil. You won't find fried rice or fried noodles and you won't get a fortune cookie either. Wheeled carts piled with small metal or bamboo baskets will come by. It seems the waiters who come around never speak any English! and when they do, I just can't figure out what they are saying! So, gird yourself up, be brave, point and nod at something that you think you can swallow. My best girlfriend loves chicken feet and I love tripe, but most of you probably want to stay away from those the first time. On those carts will be a variety: dumplings, buns, meatballs, sweet rice dishes, custard tarts, puddings and cakes. I love to dip my little treasures in a soy sauce/hot oil mixture.
Depending on how busy they are, a cart with a new variety will come out every so often. If you get there as the doors open, you may only see a couple of carts - that's still about 10-12 different dishes. But as the time goes and the tables fill up, you'll see a bigger and bigger variety. There's a great description on Wiki. Some of my favorites are:
  • Shrimp Dumplings
  • Char Siu Bao - steamed or baked dumplings. The BBQ pork filling is my favorite.

  • Char Fun - wide rice noodles wrapped over shrimp or pork; a sweet soy sauce tops them
  • Taro Dumplings
  • Almond Tofu with fruit
As in any other meal, save the sweets for the end. The almond tofu with fruit cocktail is a great finish.

For every bowl you order, the server will mark your tab depending on the cost of what you took. So, you won't be able to decipher the total until at the end, when they total it for you.

Tea helps you digest the food, especially fatty foods. So drink the tea. WITHOUT sugar.




In our circles, we talk about life-style converting. Don't talk too much, don't brag. Just show people how your life has changed. And they may see the better way because of your conviction.

Today is Friday. If it isn't your thing, you may not realize that it starts on Fridays. Sometimes even Thursdays. The official day is Saturday of course, but I'm sad to say I see more and more on Sundays.

Today, my 6 year old son made his professioin to me, unprompted:

"I love going to yard sales with my mom!"

Just so you know, Blackbelt strikes again. This is a brand new cotton sweater from Nordstrom I got at a thrift store yesterday. For $3.85. The Ralph Lauren shirt (for $1.75) and khakis are from thrifts stores, too. You know, cuz spending $50 on kids' clothes is SO worth it, when they wear it 3 times or get a juice stain on it, or have a growth spurt. Ok, you can roll your eyes back to the front of your head now. Won't my Boo look adorable going to church in this?? Check it out:


Lucky Boy

Oh, how many times have adoptive parents heard "Oh that little boy/girl is so lucky!" When we know, that we are the lucky ones. If you believe in luck, that is. Did we "save" a child? or did that child "save" us? Are we, as adoptive parents, some kind of saint? or did we merely want a child?



My Man HH

This is a peek into my husband's nature.
He comes home late, after a couple of serious meetings. He is a morning person; conversely, not a night person.
I ask him to hold Boo's note to him so I can take a picture. He doesn't ask why. He knows. He knows about my little blog. But my camera isn't focusing right. After several attempts, disappointment overcomes me and I give up. Within a minute though, I figure out what's wrong. I go to find him, who by now has set himself in front of the telly. I say, "I've got it! Come to the vestibule again!"

Without a word, a look or a grunt, nary a roll of the eyes. . . he came to the vestibule so I could take a picture for this little blog.

How could I not love this man?


Love Note

My dear HH wakes up bright and early to walk - get some exercise before heading to the office - while I'm still sleeping. Boo sometimes wakes up during this walk, so he will leave a note on the floor by the front door: "Daddy walk. Back 7:30. I love you." Now that Boo can read, he gets a particular delight out of being left a note. By daddy.

Tonight, when my husband came home from work, late after two evening meetings, he found this by the door:






And inside, this love note:


Hang Gliding

I sent Boo to camp at a local Christian church. The theme was Surfing. The set-up was fabulous. You could tell that these folks were committed and hard-working. The verse for the first day was "Be Obedient."

The video prepared by the denomination showed a surfer dude teaching the kids to be on a surf board. "Walk forward - balance - jump! Walk backward - balance - good...now jump! Obey your body!" The video continues...gliding right over that phrase. Stop. Think.

Obey your body?? Wait! I thought this was about Obeying Jesus. At the very least Obeying God. Obey your body? What if it wants to steal or kill?

Another day, the catch phrase was "Free to Believe." Free to believe...what?? Never was that sentence completed.

If I sent Boo to a synogogue for a program, I would expect him to learn the heart and core of Judaism. If I sent Boo to a madrasa, I'd expect him to learn a thing or two about the Ko'ran. I wouldn't be offended. Would a Jew be afraid to teach their beliefs? Would a Muslim fear to speak of the Ka'aba? I don't think so. Why are we then, as Christians, so willing to accept watered down beliefs? Why are we taking Christ out of Christian?

I thought the theme was Surfing, you know, the water sport. But they must have meant Surfing as in: don't dig in. . . don't immerse. . .just glide over for a superficial view.

"because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth." - Revelations 3:16



The Best Thing to Happen in Politics


I heard on the radio that Pastor Rick Warren personally called Obama and McCain on their cell phones and asked them to a forum. No pundits. No stumps. No evasions.

You can search YouTube for more.


Boo has to have all the answers. To everything. Or so it seems. Maybe this is common for a 6 year old, I don't know. By 4:00, I'm tired of being googled and wikepediad all day long. One of his series of questions involves how: as in how loud, big, strong, long, happy, hungry, far ...something, anything is.

This morning, he was giggling in the rec room, dropping a gym matte to hear it thud. Over and over. Each time, he'd ask his dad, "How loud was that, dad?" Even Buddha would get tired of his repeated questions. But unlike me, he wouldn't yell; just answer his question with a question, I am sure. So my husband, who, were he not a Christian, would no doubt be totally Zen, answers his son's query with, "Son, you ask me that often. Why do you ask me how loud something is?"

[You may have read that last question in your mind with a fake David Carradine "Kung Fu" accent, but my hubs is a Swiss-German-Scotch Irish lilly white American!]

Boo's answer to his dad was, "It's an expewiment."



The First Official Perm Blog Challenge

I have searched my soul and found the fortitude to meet Carla's Challenge (of Four by 40.) Are you strong enough to join us?

My brother Dan and I are on the steps of our house in Seoul. He's four years older than me, so I can't have been more than two. Oma, why would you do this to a 2 year old?!?

Anniversary Thoughts

A perfect August day twelve years ago. It's too bad we don't believe in reincarnation. I would say I must have known you in another life. Twelve years can't be right, because I feel as though I've known you forever.

. . . the guests were gone, the hall was empty, and the jazz group kept playing for us.



Poetry by a 6 Year Old

Boo spent all afternoon at the pool. At bedtime, I sprayed on some aloe lotion on his back and chest. He said,

"I saw the blue spray coming out!

if you spray it from higher

it would come down on me
like the rain!"


Anniversary Thoughts


My mom was 9 years gone from this world, when I married the man of my dreams. Let me correct that. I couldn't dream this man up. I'm sorry you don't know him, mom.



WTF, Spain!

Thanks to the KimchiMamas, I became aware that the official Spanish Olympic basketball team has been outed as being official Assholes. At left, the men's basketball team poses for an ad, holding their eyelids to make them appear like slits. Apparently, the women's team was sporty and "equal" enough to do the same.

And in case you were wondering, the ad is "official." Not a prank. Not a goof session. They are in official Olympics uniform, and the ad bears the official symbol of the sport's governing body.

The team has apologized, saying they meant no harm. Guess what else is done in Spain? When they see a black soccer player or a black Formula 1 racer - the patrons make MONKEY NOISES!

"We felt it was something appropriate, and that it would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture," says one team member, Jose Manuel Calderon (who plays for the NBA, by the way.)

I say, Spain, spare us all the luvin'!


Anniversary Thoughts or, the Difference 12 Years Makes

When I was sharing with friends our plans for my dad's birthday, I couldn't remember the last time my whole family had been together. Then, as I was looking through the stacks of our wedding pictures, it dawned on me: yes, 12 years ago, at our wedding in rural central Pennsylvania. That was the last time we were all together.

We came from Kimpo Airport:

To this, 12 years ago:

And in 2008, to this:

Seemingly in a blink of an eye.



Having a Ball

This kid can have fun anywhere!

How to Win Favors

Boo came into my study as I was mooning over our wedding photos. He looks at me and HH donned in our wedding gear, and says, "Wow, you look like a bootiful Pwincess, mommy!"

I felt like a princess that day.


Anniversary Thoughts or, the Difference 12 Years Makes, Part Deux

This was at the Rehearsal Dinner, where HH and I donned traditional Korean dress and bowed with respect to the older generation. It was a modified gesture toward my heritage. The real one requires a treasure chest, running around the neighborhood, some wailing and ranting, and the bride being carried around on the groom's back. Now you know why we chose "modifed."

We 4 siblings were 12 years younger then.

My brothers are left-right: 3rd, 2nd, 1st.

And again, a few weeks ago at my dad's party - left-right: 1st, 3rd and 2nd. They don't look a day over. . . um 50. Really, they look good, don't they?



A Puppet Show

as presented by:



Anniversary Thoughts or, the Difference 12 Years Makes

Our anniversary is coming up this week, so I'm looking through some pictures. I found this one of my nieces. [They are cousins.]

And the same 2 taken a couple of weeks ago at my dad's birthday party.

They are lovely younge women, who I am genuinely thoroughly proud of. Thanks for doing a good job as our flower girls those 12 years ago.


Your Komo.