One of the Lucky Ones

Last night, Joleen, Ethan, and I went to Seoul Korean Restaurant, an authentic Korean restaurant in Chattanooga, TN. You can read their story at You can also read about our last visit to an authentic Korean restaurant here.

We met one of the co-owners, Kye Cha Paris, who was very helpful. She really enjoyed meeting and interacting with Ethan. She brought Ethan a plate full of rice noodles a couple times (interestingly, the host at the Korean restaurant in Carlisle also brought Ethan extra food).

More than once, Kye Cha Paris called Ethan “one of the lucky ones.”

Quite frankly, we’ve always been a little uncomfortable with those kinds of comments. We normally respond, like we did this time, with something like, “We’re the lucky ones too.” Sure, we hope and trust that Ethan is blessed/fortunate to have us, but we are certain that we are blessed to have him!

Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner and highly recommend the restaurant to anyone in the area!

Keep Alert

Toward the end of a long day of travel on Friday, I reflected on something I’ve heard before, that most auto accidents occur in the last few miles of a trip (i.e. near home).

After driving about 8 hours, and nearing our destination, it struck me that one reason that may be the case is that in the closing miles of a trip, you enter familiar territory, and because the territory is familiar, you don’t have to stay as focused on the task at hand. In other words, you become less alert.

I thought of Jesus’ words in Mark 13.32-36

“However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning.

We must stay alert at all times, even on what seems familiar territory because we really never know what might happen at any given time.

Be on guard! Stay alert!

Gas Prices

As we headed out of PA toward TN, we expected to see cheaper gas prices. After leaving Clearfield, we filled up in Hagerstown, paying $1.89/gallon, down 10 cents/gallon from prices just borth of the PA/MD border.

As we continued driving south, gas prices continued to drop as well, to $1.78/gallon, and finally to $1.69/gallon. Since arriving here in Cleveland, we’ve seen prices as low as $1.63.

After seeing $4/gallon not too long ago, the lower prices are a welcome change. But with the current state of the global economy, who knows where gas prices are headed!

Saturday Nights

While it’s Saturday, this Saturday is not a normal Saturday (because we’re on vacation). Most Saturday nights, though, it’s just Ethan and I while Mommy leads a worship gathering at West Side.

Sometimes we play. Sometimes Ethan let’s me do last-minute work on my sermon for the following day. One Saturday, a few weeks ago, I took a few photos of our post-dinner routine activities …

Just to be clear, neither Ethan or I drank the Starbuck’s Double Shot in the photos. The drink was a birthday gift for Joleen from her mom. She said she didn’t realize they were “double shots” — we thought perhaps Grammy thought Joleen needed the extra energy now! :lol

Images of Clearfield

We have now lived in Clearfield almost 5 months. On one of our walks awhile back, we took a number of photos around town. We intended to take more on future walks but haven’t gotten back to it yet.

We are enjoying getting to know our new home town. We both found ourselves saying, after only a few short weeks here, that our adjustment/transition to the area has gone so well that it seems like we’ve been here longer than we really have. We’re grateful for that!

Slinky Action Zone

Today, we took Ethan to the birthday party of one of his cousins, 8-year-old Hannah. The party took place at Slinky Action Zone (Duncansville, PA), a place where kids can play all kinds of games. It’s a popular party spot for kids.

It was Ethan’s first time there. He jumped right in and had a lot of fun!

Tennessee Flashback

We’re going to visit family and friends in Tennessee for the week of Thanksgiving. Due to a pretty crazy year (in a good way), it’s a long overdo trip!

It’s been just over a year since we’ve been to Tennessee. The last time we were there, we received the first photos of our baby boy from Korea (see It’s a Boy!; we also wrote about our First Baby Shower).

We’re looking forward to a week in Tennessee, where some of our family and friends will get to meet Ethan in person for the first time.

While we’re there, we’ll try to eat at an authentic Korean restaurant in the Chattanooga area (like the one in Carisle where we ate following the finalization of Ethan’s adoption last month). I’ve done a little online research already to locate one.

Interestingly, when we ate at the Korean restaurant in Carlisle, where I (along with Dave Norris, I believe) used chopsticks, Ethan picked up some chopsticks and emulated what he saw us doing with them. Perhaps one of these days we’ll have to teach Ethan to use chopsticks. In Korea, children begin learning around the age of 3, we were told (we actually bought a set of children’s chopsticks and soup spoon when we were in Korea).

We go to Tennessee in two weeks. We’ll rest. We’ll spend time reconnecting with friends and family. And I’m sure we’ll relive some of the special memories of the things we experienced the last time we were there, things like going to the nearby Panera Bread to open the package that contained the photos of Ethan.

We’re looking forward to it. We’ll probably document the experience and share some of the highlights here on the blog, so watch for that as Thanksgiving gets closer.

Hanging Out with the Pastors

IMG_1753Today, we started something new, holding a time of “hanging out with the pastors.” We invited people from both West Side and Centre Grove to join us at Old Town Road Dairy from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.

We had a great response our first time out. Today’s meeting was scheduled on pretty short notice (due to conflicts the rest of the month). We will try to schedule a hangout time every few weeks, perhaps monthly, as our schedules permit, and in the future, we’ll try to give more notice.

We think these events will not only be good for people from Centre Grove and West Side to hang out with their pastor, but also to see the pastor’s family, whom they do not get to see regularly. Ethan enjoyed the social time as well as his lunch (grilled cheese and fries, which he shared with Mommy; Daddy had a very good hamburger; and as always, Ethan *loves* to complete his meals/snack times with milk!).

Thanks to those who attended today. We’re not sure when the next time will be (December can get pretty chaotic!), but we look forward to seeing others of you next time around, as we try to do life together here in Clearfield!