Monday, December 27, 2010

Don't Text While Driving Documentary... set in MO

This made me cry. Seriously. It's compelling on its own, but I was also intrigued because it centers around people in Missouri.

Watch and learn!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Freaking Love K-Pop...

My sister just showed me this... this is a dance group based in Washington. "Groove Nation" just put on a huge performance featuring K-Pop. I heart them.

Watch the little kids dance! Amazing!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What People in News are Peeing Their Pants About...

This has been sent around our newsroom all this week. I can't get over how funny it is. I'd like to meet the guy who wrote it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm baaaaaaccccckkk!

Sorry for the little break. Not that anyone but my Grandma cares.

Anyway, I have been in North Carolina for 8 days... and it's been really great so far. I try to go to the beach once a week just to put my feet in the sand and remember why I chose to move so far away from home. I also do it because Jim loves the water, and somehow going to the beach makes me feel closer to him while we can't be together.

Today, I had lunch at the beach. It was really windy, but it was so sunny.

I really like my new job. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. My co-anchor is awesome. My first day on-air was Friday, but I was just reporting. Tomorrow (Tues.) is my first day at the anchor desk.

I also ran a 5k at the beach last Saturday... just signed up for another one on New Year's Day... I might as well, but I am so out of shape! It was really cold... and rainy, which made it really uncomfortable for my first day back in the game (laugh.)

No other big news for now... I'll try to find something to write about other than my life pretty soon... still not sure if I'll keep this blog. I may transfer it to another spot.

See ya!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wednesday's Child Surprise

I know I don't work for KSPR anymore, but I had one piece of business to finish. I hope this story will inspire you to pay it forward!

I received a call from a viewer a couple of weeks ago... he wanted to purchase a computer for one of the kids we featured on Wednesday's Child. This person has grown to be a friend of mine, even though we've only briefly spoken on the phone.

I honestly didn't expect him to come through with his promise because it was such a financial commitment. I shouldn't have underestimated him.

Yesterday morning, my friend and KSPR producer Terra picked up the viewer and took him to Walmart. Mind you, I had only met him briefly at the library once before. He had already put a laptop on hold... and when we all three arrived, we went straight back to the electronics department to pick up the computer.

I bought a card and had him sign the bottom. He didn't want anything in return... he just said he hoped the child grew up to be successful and hoped he would remember where he came from.

This viewer inspired me this week and reminded me how kind people can be. He's a veteran, who on first impression, may seem a little gruff. He's the kind of guy who, at times, seems skeptical of the government--the type of person who calls the TV station after a story airs to share his opinion or argue with the someone over an issue. He does not seem like a hero, but now I realize he is.

I will not be there when the Wednesday's Child gets his computer. It has to go through the proper channels since he lives in residential care. By the way, residential care facilities are great in their intentions, but can you really imagine a child growing up in one? Or a child not having a place to call home? with people he/she trusts? Imagine what it's like during the holidays, when their schoolmates talk about Santa. Many of these kids miss their siblings who have already been adopted. I can't imagine the world these children live in, despite the fact that they have people who genuinely care for them. And remember, these kids are in our backyards, kids who go to our churches, kids who are friends with your kids.

This viewer wants to remain anonymous... yet, he could potentially spark something really great inside this kid. This could be a game changer...what an unassuming superhero.

While we all holiday shop for our families and friends and get wrapped up in the material things, please take the time to think of all of those children who go without.

I am so touched that Don, a person who lives on a fixed income, took the time to not only watch a Wednesday's Child story... but also act on it. Even I could not afford to buy a child a computer, and I feel ashamed of myself... I need to start saving up for one good thing like this a year! Don said something that inspired me--he said he could've been a Wednesday's Child, but luckily for him, he had good grandparents. It got me thinking--I was an orphan, too, and all of us have experienced some sort of unfortunate circumstance...but many of us are lucky enough have it happen to us at an age when we can take care of ourselves. Or have it not be detrimental to our existence. Kids have no choice. We have to remember them!

I hope you'll think of Don this year... and his courage to spark change in someone else! So many of us choose not to get involved, and we should try to change that. Don's kindness-in-action has been the best holiday gift I've had so far for 2010, and it wasn't even meant for me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

YES to Birthland Tours and Adoption Expert Beverlee Einsig

If you're an adoptive family and have ever thought of taking a birthland tour, I'd encourage you to check out this video. Beverlee Einsig is really my adoption hero, and I'm trying to get her to come to Springfield for a workshop. She is so respected in the field, and she's well-known all around the country. Lucky for us, she's in Oklahoma! Check her out:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Michelle Sherwood" Signs Off Sunday...

My last newscast on KSPR is here...

I am really looking forward to the future, but boy, it's hard to file away the last 7 1/2 years of my life.

A lot of wonderful things happened here, personally and professionally. A lot of heartaches took place, too. But, that's life. And, I wouldn't be the person I am without a little adversity.

Thankfully, there are more good times than bad. My most favorite was working with my photographer-boyfriend-now-husband, Jim. We had a beautiful Cathedral wedding in Honolulu, bought our charming first house in our favorite neighborhood, and became the proud parents of a little rottweiler named Minnie.

In terms of my professional career, it's been an awesome, yet uphill journey. I started out as a reporter at KY3, got bumped up to weekend morning (cut-in) anchor, weekend night anchor at KSPR, then weeknight anchor. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but I'm glad it happened the way it did. Nothing good comes easy. And if people don't know me by now...they should know I always follow an opportunity.

Never in my life did I think I could create something worthwhile or bigger than me. I feel like KSPR's Wednesday's Child segments prove otherwise. Even when the kids are difficult --and they're kids... so yes, this happens--I still want to just reach out, give them a hug and find them a home. I spend countless hours working on their two-minute story because I believe they deserve my best efforts. I've been told the Wednesday's Child segments will continue at KSPR, and I wish the station and The Adoption Exchange the best. Leaving this project behind--one I helped start--hurts terribly.
Never in my life did I think I would receive individual, national recognition for something. This year's Angels in Adoption Awards were incredibly humbling. I am still very thankful for Senator-Elect Roy Blunt's nomination. The event changed my life.

I was also really proud to win an Emmy last month. Talk about leaving on a high note. We didn't even go to the awards banquet this year because we were pretty nonchalant about it for once. Murphy's Law, I suppose... but I wouldn't have done anything differently. It was cool to forgo the tux rental money to buy food and drinks for good friends.

Friends and family reading this blog... I'm sorry I haven't told you sooner, I wish I could've been more forthcoming with information on the future. It's just that Jim and I weren't ready for the questions.

I am taking a main anchor job on the East Coast, effective in two weeks. Jim will stay behind until we can wrap up things in the Ozarks. I know a lot of people (especially his co-workers!) will be wondering if that means he'll be a lame duck... but rest assured, we are prepared to work a part indefinitely. People do it all the time, especially in the news business. It will be difficult, but the world is a much smaller place these days.

As for me, I'll be at the beach. Literally. Coastal living...where there's a Whole Foods Market, a Williams-Sonoma and a Pottery Barn. Now, if I could afford the $15-million beach house, life would be perfect.

The one thing I'll miss the most? People. Jim, my mom and dad (who live near Clinton), the rest of my family, Jim's family and so many friends. It hurts a bit to even write it. BUT, I expect everyone to come visit our quaint little beach town! Just not all at once... though if that's the only way I get you, then I'll take it!

One more thing--just thought it would be appropriate to post my VERY FIRST story I did on KY3. I think it was Good Friday, 2003 (April 18th.) I was told I would learn how to work the system that morning... by noon, they had me out shooting a story on a traffic survey. It was a bit of a snoozer-of-a-topic, but I was so nervous about making it stand out. Ha!

This is also the last of Michelle Sherwood, so-to-speak. My maiden name serves no purpose anymore. Can you believe it?? Sorry, Mom and Dad... I haven't decided what I'm going to do about the blog, but no decision will be made in haste. I'd actually like to keep it for adoption, but we'll see how easy it will be to maintain.

Thank you for all the wonderful notes, messages and support. Thanks for trusting me with your stories, your issues... thanks for all of the experiences, good and not-so-good. I have been blessed and I will always feel like I can call the Ozarks home. I am so glad I got to "grow-up" here... and trust me, I'll visit often!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Alexus

Alexus is one of my favorite gigglers to date. Someone MUST adopt her! She's at the age where she needs a lot of confidence building. I just adore this little girl.

Friday, November 19, 2010

OMG! Holt International... inspired by me?? What World Am I Living In?

I was lurking on the Internet and saw something that made me fall out of my chair. Holt International is starting to feature children in a weekly "Waiting Child" article. This blows my mind. The blog post mentions me for inspiration? W-What?

Only because I'm deeply in love with Holt. If you tell me you've adopted through Holt, I will probably hug you. Holt has won my respect time and time again. The people are so dedicated, and the organization's reputation is unbeatable.

Today, I am blessed.

BUT, the REAL story is about BEN! He's the agency's first weekly Waiting Child. He does some super cute stuff (like headstands), and he says he misses his friends who've left the orphange for forever homes (heartbreaking.) He's so darn cute!

Check out his cute little smile... send it out all over Facebook and Twitter. Thanks, y'all!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comedian Michael Jr. Comes to the Ozarks

Do you know who Michael Jr. is? He is soooo funny. We will be together on KSPR News this Morning on Friday.

BUT, the big event is Sunday at James River Assembly. He has a free show on November 21st at 6 p.m.

Michael Jr. does some great things. He tells clean jokes, first of all. Secondly, he's traveling the country trying to make people laugh at unlikely places--homeless shelters, kids who've been abused...he's a stand out and a stand-up. He's also been on late night talk shows, like Jay Leno!

Look at our little ditty here... Blasian news? Blanchors? Whoa. He said it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Patrick

This week's Wednesday's Child is Patrick. He's a great kid... very smart. He's absolutely college-bound. He told me he wants to go to Mizzou or Duke. (Two of my three favorite states!)

He taught himself how to make a website; he wants to do something with computers.

The most heartbreaking thing is that he told me he wants a family because he thinks he needs that extra support before he starts high school. :( He's such an insightful kid.

Patrick also loves sports-- Dallas Cowboys! And, he's a pretty good shot! We played hoops the day we met, and he beat me in around the world! Check him out and tell your friends about him. Financial assistance could be available for him to go to college, too.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Goodbye! I'm Leaving KSPR and KY3 Inc.

I've come a long way since I started at KY3 in April 2003. I started on Good Friday at the urging of my then-news director. By doing that, I had to take another year of religious classes, but I was so happy to be in my home state!

Just a couple weeks after my big move, the May 4th tornadoes came. I was so terrified because it was the first real major breaking news event I'd covered. There was so much destruction, and I was so sad to talk to families who had lost loved ones. The first house I stopped at in Camdenton was an eye opener. I met a couple of teens who were picking up the debris, and I asked them a few questions about the storm. I asked... "Did everyone make it out ok?" "No," was their response.

Apparently, a husband and wife lived there for several years. They were grandparents. She was found in a bathtub several hundred yards away from the house. The grandfather was somewhere out in the field. I thought of my family. That one news event shaped much of my career... even as devastating as it was, I am grateful to have learned so early about true hardships and the power of local TV news. People complain about local TV, but the truth is, I believe our station (and others) saved lives the night of the storm. We helped many towns and people recover afterwards. It was a great lesson, and it's not one that comes around often.

After a few months, I had the great opportunity to work the weekend mornings and anchor the cut-ins. It was ONLY the cut-ins, but I thought anchoring a smidge would be better than nothing. I passed up several opportunities to report dayside, M-F... but I was determined to have my 3 minutes on the anchor desk, even if it meant waking up on Saturdays at 5 a.m.

Then, the opportunity came to work at KSPR. Weekend nights. Producing my own newscast. Editing on BETA. And filling in on the sports desk. Really? What year was this? It didn't matter, though. I thought it was great experience. I remember feeling a great sadness leaving my KY3 comforts... but I was so excited for the chance to do more professionally.

A year later, I was anchoring the 10 p.m. news. Shortly after that, we dumped all of our sad equipment and started working in the newest studio/newsroom in the market. It's been really cool to be HD from start to finish, work with robotic cams and ipads and work with the latest equipment. Of course, that can only go so far.

But, as I ramble here... I kept thinking it might be time to move on. After all, nearly eight years in one place is a long time. At some point, you have to decide whether you want change or not. I did.

My contract ends November 30th. My last newscast will be Sunday, November 28th. I imagine it will be routine-- "here today, gone tomorrow" kind-of-thing. And, that's the way it should be. I wouldn't subject any of our viewers to my mumblings about moving on. It's reserved for my blog, though... and I won't apologize for that!

I had a great run at KY3 Inc. I made a lot of memories with incredible people. I earned recognition across the state --even the country-- for the work I've done in both newsrooms. And, most importantly, I met my wonderful husband here. Without him, I'm nothing. Jim and I have so much more ahead in our future together, but Springfield will leave an impression on us. And, I'm truly grateful to have had the chance to be here.

I'm sorry I haven't told some of you face-to-face about my big life change. I feel like a horrible friend, and the truth is, I still feel like I need to be a little cryptic about my future. We will still have roots in the Ozarks; Jim will continue working at KY3 Inc., and I will be seen around town.

Feel free to send me a message on Facebook or drop me a note with your email. I'll be in touch.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adoption update: I'm a Good Cook... and It's in my Genes...

I've always been told I'm a good cook. I don't know if that's really true since I basically just add butter and garlic to everything... but I really do enjoy cooking.

Example 1: I worked at Williams-Sonoma in college for four years. I bought my All-Clad cookware set before I was 21.

Example 2: In college I thought it would be a great idea to serve my fellow senior, sorority sisters to a Thanksgiving dinner. My roommates, Lucy and Staci put it together... but we made a turkey that year for 20+ girls. The thing I learned? You can cook a turkey upside down and it becomes more juicy. (I had to work that day, so I prepped the turkey, and Lucy put it upside down in the oven. She'd call me throughout the day with random things like: a) she didn't like to touch raw meat and b) she couldn't get the wings to tuck under.)

Example 3: I still have dinner parties all the time... even when I was a young journalist, I'd invite the whole newsroom over and cook. I think the most I cooked for was about 100 during a Lunar New Year party.


I've been Skyping a lot with my sister HJ and her hubby Glenn. Last night, we were dreaming up ways to start a business. One idea was to open a Korean BBQ restaurant and noribang (Korean-style karaoke.)

She told me that we should get our birth mother involved...

Apparently, my Korean mother owned a noodle, sushi and Korean BBQ restaurant for several years! From the time HJ was a toddler until high school, my Korean mother was a restaurateur.


Also, she said all of the girls are great cooks... that means Hyun Jeong, Hyun Mi, and Yeon Jeong... plus ME!

HJ even had a nickname-- Dae Jang Geum. Dae Jang Geum is also the title of one of the most popular Korean dramas at the moment... it's loosely based on the real-life story about a legendary girl (Jang-Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. She started in the royal kitchen, I believe, which back in the dynasty days was a very powerful position. You're feeding royalty! It could also be a dangerous job (people tried to poison people all the time...) BTW, I discovered Dae Jang Geum during my last visit to San Fran with my Imo and Uncle Stacy. They love that show!

Anyway, this little story just made me happy, and I thought adoptive families may be interested to hear...

We always wonder if genetics or environment plays a role in who we are. Of course, the answer is both. BUT, I've learned two things-- my love of cooking comes from my biological mother. So does my love of singing.

My mom, Sharon, cooks a lot, but I'm not convinced it's a hobby of hers. However, she does love musicals... we spent every weekend watching The Sound of Music, Grease, Annie. However, my mom doesn't sing.

We probably won't open a Korean BBQ or a noribang... but dreaming allowed me to find out a little more about my reality. Pretty neat how the little things can impact so much. It meant nothing at all for my sister to tell me that small tidbit, but I see it like a revelation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dave Arrives in Springvegas!

Our dear friend Dave is in Springfield... for one more night. It's been really fun hosting him during his trip. I've missed him. Dave has been a great friend to both of the Van Dillens, he was a very important part of our wedding, and he's the third part of the motley crew-- Jim, Taka and Dave.

Last night, we all went to Fedora to meet up with some of his Springvegas friends (it's Dave's term, not mine.)

The best part of the night was when a bachelorette party made their way into the establishment. They grabbed Dave, nearly ripped off his shirt, threw a lemon shot on his body and embarrassed the heck out of him. The best was that I think they were attempting to do a body shot--in the end, I think they just threw sticky alcohol on his chest.

It was the highlight of the evening... just look at the way he pouted afterwards!

It's been great seeing him. This old lady can't keep up with him, but it's been really awesome either way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Darrell...Korean arrival...and ADOPTION IN PROGRESS!


1. Please keep my friends Liz, Christian and Jack in your thoughts... Liz and her husband are on their way to the states after a week in Korea! They picked up Jack this week and are headed home NOW!

2. Big congrats to Stephon! He's a former Wednesday's Child and is in the process of being adopted!

3. Check out Darrell-- he's an 11 year old who says he just wants a loving family. Very sweet kid (and check out his rockin' mohawk!)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Looking Back: My Korea Trip story on KY3

November is National Adoption Month. And what a great month.

I did this story back in 2005 during the month of November. In a way, I hate sharing it because I was such a new reporter... my voice, my writing, my delivery... all makes me cringe a little when I watch this. But, I can overlook it because I'm reminded of the passion I had. Plus, I shot and edited the video myself.

This was the story I shot in 2005 when I went to Korea. I followed a group of adoptees around as they tried to search for their birth family... on top of just visiting their birth country for the first time. I remember lugging around a camera and mic the whole time. It was exhausting.

I was so disappointed at the time because no adoptee found their birth parent. I thought WHAT LUCK! And, there were so many parts to the story, I didn't know where to start.

But, along the way, I decided to choose Emma. She was 11 at the time and really wanted to find her birth mother. She was so sweet, and her family was awesome. I even went to Oklahoma and stayed with them for a weekend when we got back. I still think of them.

Anyway, here's the old story. AND HAPPY NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH! I also wanted to post the story because one of my friends from my very first news job is getting ready to go to Korea to pick up her baby! I must have Korea on the brain.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Hanguk Anniversary!

One year ago today, I married the man of my dreams... again!

Very lucky to have two wonderful weddings with two sets of families... now if I could just put them in one place!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Love NY: Band Plays Song with iphone

Do you ever wish you lived in New York?! I wish I could ride a subway and run into these guys...

A Rose! And my own thorn...

I came into work today and during our afternoon news meeting, someone said I received a rose from the Springfield News-Leader!

It was a nice surprise. Thanks!

And, to the first commentor-- Boo! Thorn! I didn't submit my own rose. Peppermintpattie sure knows how to try to take the wind out of someone's sails.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finnish News Anchor Fired For Swigging Beer

I just have to ask-- should we be shocked of the beer swigging or that this guy was actually an anchor to being with? Is that bad?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Adoption Tax Credit: New Info

As a 2010 Angel in Adoption, I received direct info about the adoption tax credit. Great news-- the tax credit has increased... it also includes international adoption.

Have a look... it's a little long, but the information is there...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bass 2 Billfish's Peter Miller Stops by KSPR

Professional angler Peter Miller stopped by the KSPR studio today to talk about his national TV show Bass 2 Billfish. It's a reality show-- people from all across the country go down to Florida and fish for just about anything.

I wrote a story for 417 Magazine about Ozarks newlyweds, Branton and Lindsey, who were the first people on the show. They had such a great time!

Anyway, here's a little snippet of some of the video you'll see in my upcoming interview with Peter. Bass Pro is one of Peter's sponsors, so he was in Springfield today for work. Check out the following videos!

Monday, October 11, 2010

KSPR wins a Regional Emmy

I posted this on Facebook, but I wanted to quickly share that KSPR won a regional Emmy over the weekend.

The story was one I wrote back in the spring about K2, a synthetic marijuana that is now banned in Missouri. Of course, now I hear there are other versions of synthetic marijuana that are legal because it varies a compound or two from the now illegal version.

I'm really happy for KSPR and the people involved with putting the story together. Joel Girdner, Paul McReynolds, Ben Knaupp and Brian Mattson were the photographers who all made significant contributions to the story. Ron Davis and Bridget Lovelle were also key in making the story happen.

A big congrats to KY3 and all of its nominees. News producer Chris Replogle earned his first Emmy for a newscast he produced on the Derecheo Effect.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Congressional Award: Angels in Adoption

I haven't had time to write, but I'm in Washington, D.C. accepting a congressional award for adoption.

I wish I had more time to write right now, but I am too exhausted. I heard some amazing stories, and one day soon I hope to share them with you.

We were told to act as "lobbyists" and lobby for our causes. We had a "Hill Day" to do so. That was yesterday (Tuesday.) We were placed in groups and then taken to various offices of lawmakers to talk about the plight of the orphan, essentially.

For once, I had the least amount to say. The two couples in my group were extremely passionate about open records and recognizing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as a diagnosis. Again, more to come later.

Today, we were given our "angel" pins... and wrapped up the three-day-event with a gala. I shook hands with Kristin Chenoweth and sat a few tables behind Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito. It was pretty incredible. I cried through half of the gala... it was that inspirational!

In the meantime, here are some pictures from today:

Friday, October 01, 2010

"Like a G6" Makes Music History!!

Far East Movement's "Like a G6" is making music history-- it's hard to keep up where it is on the Billboard charts... BUT, it's the FIRST ALL-ASIAN-AMERICAN group to break through the #10 spot on the Billboard.

The song also recently hit #1 on the iTunes singles charts.

Now the question is... WHAT THE HECK IS A G6????


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Tristen

Tristen is a great kid who's got a lot of energy! He loves to play 1-on-1 with you!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

DogFest 2010: Minnie Makes New Friends

Minnie and I went to DogFest today. The money raised goes to the Cruse Dog Park! We had such a blast!

First of all, Minnie loves other dogs. She may be a Rottweiler, but she thinks she is a small dog. No joke. She wants to play with all the toy dogs... who are like a whopping 3 pounds. It scares the bejezus out of some dog owners. I apologize.

Anyway, another thing I loved--the Dachshund Dash! Wow, weener dogs are so cute. There are several heats through the day, but the one I watched was hilarious. The little weener dog that won ran so fast, and then it pooped... I guess it had too much excitement.

We even met a bloodhound who works as an Ozarks police officer! He sniffs out trouble!

Had such a great time today! Even Jim stopped by on his way to a story to see his little Minnie in action.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Korean Holiday Chuseok = Thanksgiving

What a coincidence.

This morning I was thinking of my sister, Hyun Jeong, so I decided to give her a call. When she picked up, she said today was the beginning of Chuseok. It's a big Korean holiday, like our version of Thanksgiving.

Actually, today is the start of Chuseok. It's a three-day festival that falls on different days every year because of the lunar calendar. Chuseok is the Full Moon Harvest Festival--celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar... and is held around the Autumn Equinox.

Anyway... Korea time is 14 hours ahead of Central. So, I always add two hours to the current time and flip a.m./p.m. That means day 1 of Chuseok has already passed in Korea. Hyun Jeong said everyone is staying at our Korean parents' house. My other two sisters, Hyunmi and Yeon Jeong are staying there along with their husbands and children. My birth mother told Hyun Jeong to call me today and ask how I was doing because she can communicate well with me.

I miss them.

And, I like hearing the updates. I feel like I'm a part of their lives. My birth father apparently has developed diabetes. He's not overweight, but he's lived the life of a typical Korean man--he smoked and drank for much of his lifetime, so now his body is catching up. Hyun Jeong said he's eating well--not eating meat--and that he's stopped smoking and most of his drinking.

Glenn says he and Hyun Jeong will likely take some time off next year and visit the states. I'm hoping they can take a road trip to Missouri. My mind is an uncontrollable force... I'm trying to calm it down because it's all too exciting to think that they'll be on U.S. soil!

Anyway, I have never observed Chuseok, even when I was studying Korean language... even when I surrounded myself with Korean people. But this year feels a little different. I'm getting older and realizing how blessed I am. I wish I could've been at the dinner table in Korea last night, watching my niece and nephew run around, and not understanding two-thirds of what was being said. At the same time, it's unbelievable that things turned out so swimmingly here...

Tonight when I get off work, I have a date to Skype with my Korean family as they celebrate Day 2 of Chuseok at Hyun Jeong and Glenn's new house. I can't wait! I'm so glad I'm celebrating two Thanksgivings this year... there's a lot to be thankful for!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Angels in Adoption, Thank you Mr. Blunt

I posted this on my Facebook page a while back, but I guess I've been neglecting my blog. I recently received a great honor, and I wanted to share it here.

I will be traveling to Washington, D.C. early next month to accept a Congressional award for my volunteer work in adoption. As many of you know, I've been a huge advocate for adoption for several years. The Wednesday's Child segments on KSPR have been going well, but I would like to see more participation from the community. We'll get there.

I loved, loved, loved being an escort for Korean adoptees. There's nothing better than flying halfway across the world to bring a baby home to the United States. The first time I did it was in 1998, and I remember that's when families could still go right up to the gate. That baby cried all the way from Seoul to Tulsa, but I was the one crying when we gave him to his parents.

I've never said this on my blog, but I would probably leave TV news if I thought I could work with Korean adoptees or for an international adoption agency... but what would I do? I admire social workers, but the work is too exhausting.

I once thought I could be a social worker in 1998. I was at KU. I took my first social work class-- it would also be my last. I thought I'd go to the class and automatically learn about my interest, international adoption. However, I learned about poverty, mental illness and the sacrifices social workers make. One day, I was sitting in a huge lecture hall, and my professor started crying. She had just learned one of her former students had been murdered in New York. The former student was now a social worker and had been killed as a result of being mugged.

So... although I am thrilled and honored to be accepting a Congressional award for my volunteerism, it does not even compare to the daily contributions our social workers make. They should be honored every day!
On a side note, I should thank Congressman Roy Blunt. He is the one who nominated me for this honor. As many people know, Mr. Blunt adopted a boy from Russia a few years ago, and Charlie is so cute!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Keanna

Wednesday's Child is Keanna--she's a very helpful girl who even spends a lot of her spare time helping those in need. Check her out!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Missouri-Grown Shrimp Tastes Like Lobster!

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, you may want to take a drive up to Dixon. Sure, it's a haul... but once you get there, you may end up hauling back a ton of shrimp.

Recently, I did a story on a guy named Paul Smith, who not only raises shrimp... BUT throws a big shrimp festival on his property! Read my story in this month's 417 Magazine. Paul was incredibly smart, funny and nice, and I wish him all the best in his venture.

Paul raises shrimp, tilapia and trout. Check him out!! The shrimp fest runs until Sunday... he has people all the way from Canada drive in. Can you believe that??

OH, and Paul says his shrimp taste like lobster. That definitely makes me want to take the drive!

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Marquell

OH my gosh! Marquell is so sweet with his little two front teeth missing.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

What Would You Eat Out of Hunger?

I won't get on my soapbox tonight, but I want to give you something to think about.

Today, I was not on the news because I had a Wednesday's Child shoot. I usually do this once a month and tape four foster kids throughout the Ozarks-- then air their stories throughout the next month. Since we have adoption professionals coming in from St. Louis and Jefferson City, it just makes sense.

When I shoot these stories, it's easy to lose focus on what we're doing. After all, I just get a glimpse of a child... in a certain time and space. I have no idea where the child has been or what the child has experienced.

I was speaking with a foster mom today who reminded me of why Wednesday's Child is so important. She told me, "You look at these kids and forget where they've come from. Every child has a story."

She then told me a brief story about one of her foster kids. He came to her weighing just 18 pounds at age 4. He couldn't speak... he had been left to fend for himself most days. When his case workers found him, he was pulling paint off the wall. He wasn't pulling paint off the wall to be ornery. He was pulling it off so he could have something to eat.

Good thing this woman is adopting him!

The boy can speak more than 30 words now, and he's learning to communicate through an electronic device. He is really making big strides.

And the best? She decided to adopt him after seeing his story on KSPR during our Wednesday's Child segment.

I will update their story when the adoption becomes final. Thanks to all who continue to support Wednesday's Child. I really feel like we're making a strong commitment to Missouri kids, and I am proud to be a part of it. I hope people will take the two or three minutes it takes to watch the kids' stories and realize the critical need out there!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Alex

Wow! Alex is one of the cutest little guys out there. His case worker says he's really stressed out about not being in a permanent home. It breaks my heart. You'll see what I mean when you watch the story. Thanks!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Lacey

Lacey deserves a home so badly... she wants to find one for all the right reasons. She says she doesn't want a home just so she can get out of foster care, she says she really wants to find a family.

She's a pretty insightful teenager. I think she's a great young woman!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Stephon

This 6-year-old may be the cutest kid I've ever seen. He's got a missing tooth! Oh, I love it.

Stephon is such a great little boy... he's very athletic and likes to cuddle. He also snores!! OH SO CUTE!!!


Wednesday's Child: Stephon from ksprwedchild on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Korean Food is Everywhere... from LA to Springfield

The reason I love Los Angeles is because you can feel such a strong Korean vibe... it has nothing to do with the fact that I have a Korean face. I just really like the food! So does my husband.

These pics are from Gyenari, a restaurant Hannah and I stumbled on in Culver City. We were going to another restaurant to meet some of her friends for dinner. Not knowing the area very well, we were a little early and walked by a Korean restaurant during Happy Hour. And, what a good choice-- we were definitely smiling when we left!

Hite... my Korean beer of choice. You can buy it all over Springfield, by the way.

Back to Jim's love affair with Korean food... When we were in Korea in October, my Korean aunts kept hand feeding Jim as if he were a baby. Not only that, but they oohed and aahhed at the way he used his chopsticks. I thought..."What about me?!" After all, I was raised by white Missourians... where was my applause? haha

Anyway, I digress.

Korean food is really good eats, and I'm so glad to see it more in the mainstream--whether it is a full-on Korean restaurant or a Kogi taco truck.

DID YOU KNOW KOREAN FOOD IS ALSO EVERYWHERE IN SPRINGFIELD? Interestingly, there are a ton of Korean restaurant owners... who operate non-Korean establishments. How does this play into your food? Tons. Argentina Steakhouse, Fuji, Ohana, Mijuri, Haruno, ReRico and Kai are just a few examples I can think of off the top of my head. You are probably eating Korean-inspired dishes without knowing it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Food Fusion is a Beautiful Thing...

Even I was skeptical of eating Korean-Mexican food. Could bulgoki and tacos really go together? What about pickled cabbage inside a quesadilla?

Well... that was before I had a visit to the Kogi Truck in Los Angeles.

The Kogi (Koh-Gee) truck is a popular taco truck that drives all around the L.A. area... you can find where it's going by following the company's tweets. Since the Kogi (Korean for "meat") truck started hitting the streets, other companies have popped up with their own version of fusion tacos... including Calbi!

Just read Koream Magazine's article to see the latest on Asian fusion taco wars!

If you go, you won't believe how freaking delicious the food is. I never thought a kimchi quesadilla sounded good until I tried it. Heck, I didn't even order it. My friend did, and when I took a bite of hers, I nearly blacked out. Ohmas everywhere need to take notes!

I think it's my second calling. If you see me driving a taco truck around in the next few years, it's a good thing.