In reality, it’s been a whirlwind since we arrived, with jet lag and the cold. We are furnitureless. We had houseguests approximately two weeks after our arrival and since they left, JavaMan has been in Korea addressing a visa issue. He returns on Wednesday. I’ll be so glad to see him.
I was so tired tonight, I sat down to watch the end of a movie with my kids and fell asleep on my bed fully clothed, with a sweater and an apron! THEY kissed ME goodnight, and I woke around 2:30 a.m. bewildered at what had transpired!
However, the homeschool room is looking like and functioning as a homeschool room, we’ve been posting weekly at Hold the MSG (Mandarin lessons for kids), and the kitchen is up and running. In fact, I’ve been downright experimental there. I’m determined to make gluten-free work here, since we’ve seen such benefits for Sweetpea. So far, I’ve located recipes for and/or experimented with:
- pizza dough – nailed this one. It’s so good, and yes, I will share very soon
- bread – found a simple recipe with easily accessible ingredients and tweaked it–the mix was slightly wet the last time, which with gluten-free results in a fallen loaf (although it wasn’t too bad). But going to take another run at it tomorrow and see what we can do to perfect things
- dumplings! This is a huge coup! We’ll still end up in situations where we’re at someone else’s house or at a restaurant and can’t avoid it, but if we can make our own dumplings at home, gluten-free, it will go a long way.
- crackers – yes indeed, homemade gluten-free crackers
- matzah – this won’t be something we’ll eat every day, but it came in handy over the weekend for our traditional Seder dinner
I’ve continued to work on freezing strawberries and mulberries so we’ll have berries to eat for the rest of the year, and I even located a simple pectin-free strawberry jam recipe so I can deal with some of the strawberries I’d rather not throw away, but aren’t good enough to keep for eating. Today I figured out how to get my hands on jars for the jam.
But as more and more time gets consumed by living–not to mention that this week we slipped back into the homeschool routine–I’m feeling the need to simplify my online activities. So this month, I’ve joined the 3 in 30 featured challenge: Simple Blogging.
Here are my goals for April:
- Work through Simple Blogging – This involves reading a set number of chapters per week of the eBook and incorporating changes into my blogging life. For the most part this week, I felt pretty good about what I read, although I confess to allowing myself to succumb to online distractions when I’ve sat down with the intention of blogging–what the author, Rachel Meeks, calls “productive procrastination.” At some points, I was able to pat myself on the back–for having a clear purpose for my blog, for example, or for using Evernote for organization–and at other points, I felt a gentle wrap on my knuckles for things I know to be doing and don’t do enough–like planning posts in advance. I tend to keep mental notes, which clutter up brain space and can be easily lost! I have begun to implement some of these suggestions, but still have work to do.
- Get into a proper routine – Because our days are exactly the opposite to North America (12 hours ahead means I’m sleeping when most everyone I know is active), it’s very tempting to check email and Facebook first thing in the morning. Did so-and-so get back to me? Are there blog comments? What are my friends and family up to? However, this doesn’t work well with our family, and means my kids greet me in the morning with a computer on my lap. Not okay. It can also delay getting breakfast and homeschool started. I am determined to get back to a proper morning routine. We live here now, and if people have to wait longer to hear back from me, or I have to wait longer to hear back from them, so be it. My family is more important.
- Get Hold the MSG posts on a better schedule – There’s quite a bit involved in posting the weekly posts. It takes 3 hours via VPN to upload the posts to YouTube, for example, and after a little meeting with the kids last week, we decided to break up the work into segments, so it’s not too much all on one day. We’re planning and working on the next post right after the last one is live. The great side benefit to this is that our kids are focusing much more on their own Chinese learning, and much more motivated to practice.
What does April hold for you? Are you spring cleaning or making any goals?