Monday, April 25, 2011

A Spring-time Cornucopia

It's been a rainy spring down here in Athens (several schools are racking up the flood days on top of all the snow days they had), but the weather did manage to stay fairly nice for the annual Korean Church Retreat. I'll get to that in a second. First, here's a quick photo from our quarterly Big Bang Theory math party to celebrate the end of finals week during winter quarter. As we've all started to go down our respective paths of specialization, I barely see these guys anymore, which is probably why this party went late into the night playing online trivia games.

Another fun event was a dinner we had over at Drew and Laura's place in Marietta. Roxie had sprouted crawling legs and was all over the place with her mischievous smile.

Drew and Laura had cooked us a nice dinner of enchiladas and salad, complete with a full dessert plate afterwards. I'm not quite sure how they had the time to do it since Laura is a full-time dentist, Drew is a full-time student, and I don't think they've had anyone taking care of Roxie.

Joo has also continued to do some wonderful cooking. People keep warning me that she will eventually get tired of cooking all day as a job and not want to cook at home, but thankfully that hasn't been the case yet! Recently, she's been testing out a few foods for Kiwi to potentially market in his coffeeshop in Korea. For example, here are some beignets, followed by some yummy stuffed pretzels (my new favorite).

So, back to the Korean campout. For starters, it was a bit more focused than the typical church retreats I've been used to in the past. There were a couple breaks here and there, but most of it was group bible study and intense prayer. For Joo, the biggest question was processing some matters such as speaking in tongues; for me, my focus was on a decision.

The director of the Sunday school approached me to see if I would be interested in leading the youth at the church beginning this Fall. Luckily, there's plenty of time left to process the offer, since I'll need quite a bit of time to think this one over. My four years as youth pastor of Bethel were filled with some of the richest, most meaningful memories of my life, but they also included two of the most frustrating and darkest years of my life in terms of personal internal conflicts. A lot has changed since then, and so a more pressing concern might be whether I could handle the time commitment in addition to starting my PhD program. Anyway, that's something I'll be considering for the next couple months.

Given such weighty thoughts, it was nice to have some simple fellowship over marshmallows and kim-chi (not at the same time, although now that I think about it, maybe that would be a combination for Kiwi to market in his cafe? :) ).

And of course, Joo does a lot more than cooking at the Korean church and testing things out for the cafe. She's been buying more bulk foods and spices as she learns how to use them (such as lentils, textured vegetable protein (TVP), cumin, etc.)

Here is an example of just what a lucky guy I am... a grapefruit feta salad, mushroom focaccia bread, and seared tilapia. :)

As the summer nears, I'm looking forward to hitting an academic checkpoint (my master's degree in mathematics), and both Joo and I are anticipating our upcoming trip to Korea. I've pulled the Korean language books off the shelves again and have them sitting by the toilet for intense study. My vocabulary seems to have faded considerably since when I lived in Korea, although my speaking and listening skills are much stronger now (even with the Eastern dialect that Joo's family speaks).


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