Yesterday we went to Ch'eongju. Here are the boys on the bus.
It was a 2.5 hour drive, and they played and did their homework reasonably well. They were most excited about the rest area with 호떡 (Korean hotcakes filled with cinnamon and pinenuts), toy vending machines, and drinks with wind-up toys in the caps (AJ is playing with a jumping Gorilla that he calls Mr. Jumpy in the photo above).
We went to meet my friend (adult on the right) and her little sister and to see my friend's new daughter and (surprise!) her sister's little girl, too.
BJ was very 7 years old there, but he ate tonkatsu very well while AJ ate LOTS of watermelon (and a little tonkatsu).
Soon, Sunny's sweet little baby became very, VERY tired and had to be taken out and home. Since it was much too hard to keep boys quiet indoors, and, after all, they had already been in a bus for a long time, we went to the playground.
Sunny's little sister got a taste of little boys. After playing with them, she and her baby both went back and took a long nap.
Sunny's niece, holding Sunny's little sister's baby, just had to laugh at the whole thing.
And AJ played with his new toy car...
While BJ pouted on a swing.
So we all took a walk...
Past a dinosaur...
To the toystore where BJ got THIS!
AJ could hardly contain his excitement. Thank you, Sunny Imo!!
(more pics on Facebook--I gave up after losing them here twice.)
BJ: Church was good because there was candy. I played war with my friends and one of them was a ninja. And we played rock paper scissors shoot and I won one time and lost one time.
AJ: I didn't get any candy because I was not saying (the answer--although BJ got him some). I liked that BJ got (me) candy.
AJ's version: irthurtbbgyrgghghrjrhgrhrrthjerpqq' eiwjgujtgiwjtghhhgrhhhhuhuhuhhrhagrfhsfdefhrhg iruyrery7etruireirjirmjkgjreehgwy jjsioojooerkeoeorhjoiou2h3he33egrg332131
BJ: I was being the little hamster dude who turns into a hero, and he went around and around because it is good, and his hero name is Nanuman (and there was more but I lost the thread of it in there somewhere).
AJ: I was hitting him because it is fun.
AND... My mother-in-law made 고추장 (hot pepper paste) for my husband today, and I took pictures. I've been trying to record this more and more because my mother-in-law's family was/is very traditional, but that's changing very rapidly. Every year, her mother made soy sauce, but she died 2 years ago, and the soy sauce wasn't quite right the year before that. She also used to make 된장 (it's a fermented soy paste used as a base in several foods), but I haven't seen that for a while either. So, while we still can, I want to have it where people can see it (of course the same is true in the US. I remember my mom and all the other ladies in the neighborhood canning, but that doesn't happen much any more. It's something else I need to record--particularly as so many Koreans seem to think that Americans are without culture and roots, my boys need to see them).
SO... here goes.
Put dark 물엿 (like corn syrup) and water in a big old humongous pot...
And boil said mixture on the stove.
Cool this mixture in a cold water bath.
The cooling process can be speeded along by swirling the mixture and periodically changing the water in the tub underneath.
Prepare most of the dry ingredients: 고추장용 매주가루 (which roughly translates "everyday starch for use in hot pepper paste." I discovered that some 매주가루 only contains ground soy bean, but this one also has wheat.),
very spicy hot pepper powder (this is ground from peppers grown and dried by my in-laws),
and mildly spicy hot pepper powder (also ground from peppers grown and dried by my in-laws).
The pepper powders are measured out to a final ratio that I believe was one part very spicy and two parts mildly spicy.
The entire bag of 매주가루 is emptied into the bowl followed by half of the mildly spicy hot pepper powder.
These are mixed, the remainder of the pepper powder added, and then mixed again.
Now 어머니 adds a bottle of her own homemade peach wine/spirits and mixed again.
Salt is added as a preservative, and the paste is given a final mix.
Then the whole thing is set to rest in the back before being poured into containers for storage.
When we came, everyone brought the boys snacks. It's been a week, and we still have two huge bags full.
우리왔을때, 여러분은 아들에게 과자를 주었어요. 일주후, 두가방도 있네.
After playing hard in front of the house this afternoon...
집 앞에서 열심히 놀기후...
the boys wanted to eat snacks.
과자 먹고 싶었어.
AJ couldn't decide between cookies or ice cream, so Grandma and Mom decided for him. Ice cream melts, you know.
아이스 크림 먹을까? 과자 먹을까? 범찬이 몰으겠다. 그래서 할머니와 어머니 아이스 크림 없애 주었다. 아이스크림 녹다, 알았지?
So a few minutes later, AJ's Korean becomes eloquent as he takes Grandma by the hand and says, "Follow me." A little later, I see him coming back...
잠시후, 범찬이 할머니 손 찹고 한국말로 <할머니 달아하세요> 라고 말했지. 조금 있었어 들어와...
I have decided to show a few pictures of where we actually are for some of you that I know are following and are interested in the place. The kids still have their story below.
This is heading to their Grandpa's little field/garden at the base of the mountain behind Grandpa's house (the family's ancestral home).
Here is a slightly more picturesque view. You may note that lots of other people have garden plots here as well.
This is Grandpa's garden. I love the cup on the fence post and the squash growing up the trellis instead of across the ground--Grandpa makes the most of space! There are also tomatoes, perilla leaves, cucumbers, and other things growing here.
My favorite! 겟닢!
AJ loves this little bridge that crosses into the garden. It's like magic for him.
This is the nearly dried stream bed across from the field. Believe it or not, my husband used to swim here as a child. There was even a good deal more the first time I came here nearly twelve years ago. Now there are only puddles.
And you can see the boys' favorite activity here!
The Toys: 장난감
Mother's note: Grandpas must read little boys' minds because BJ had no sooner asked me, "Mommy, when is Grandpa going to get us a toy?" (He had promised this to them before we came), when Grandpa walked in from the yard and asked, "Are you ready to go buy a toy?" Below are two of their favorites.
AJ: That's Ninjago! Blackago! And it goes, "Ting! Ting! Ting!"
범찬: 닌자고 입니다! 팅팅팅 소리 한다!
BJ: It's awesome because it's a toy.
진희: 아싸! 장난감 입니다!
AJ: It's good and I love it!
범찬: 재미있다! 진짜 좋아해요!
(Mother's note: This is how well my boys know each other. They were playing, and I heard BJ say, "Wait! That didn't count!" AJ responded without any guile whatsoever, "Yeah, I know. You didn't win.")
Today was a very long day fraught with fighting, tears, laughter, and play. After Komobu's (their uncle's) birthday dinner, both boys fell asleep in the car, so I'm doing my best to give you a piece of this day in pictures.
오늘은 싸우기, 눈물, 웃기 과 놀이가 많이 있습니다. 아들둘이 고모부의 생일 파티 후 자동차에서 자로 갔어요. 그래서, 네가 사진으로 오늘날 이야기 조금 해준다.
After a great water gun battle...
we rode our bikes to the playground...
놀이터으로 자전거 탔어요...
where we played.
Upon our return, we played our favorite game of "don't crash into the door." Note the skid marks on the ground.
집에 왔어 우리 죄고 개임 했어요--문에 무섭게 충돌하지 마세요 (땅에서 타이어가 미끄러진 자국은 좀 보세요).
And we begged to have our training wheels off.
"유아용 자전거의 보조 바퀴 치우주세요!"
"We can handle it!"
We compromised, and Grandpa raised them. Hooray for us! 우리는 타협하도록 헸어요. 할아버지가 보조 바퀴를 위쪽 들어올렸어요. 야후!!!