Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In 50 years...

On Sunday, my amazing husband and I will have been married for 365 days!  Woohoo!  Yeah for us.  After our great first year of marriage, I thought I would write myself some notes, things I have learned in the last year that I hope will be still a part of our lives/marriage in 50 years.  So here we go...

In 50 years (*see below) I hope that I am still biting my tongue on the way to church.  For the most part, my amazing husband and I do not fight/ disagree/ quarrel  (whatever you wish to call it).  But I noticed that every Sunday on the way to church, we would end up disagreeing over something.  Usually something pretty insignificant.
After this happening four weeks in a row, I heard a little ding, ding, ding in my brain.  Duh!  I bet it is Satan.  Now, I am not usually a spiritual warfare type girl, I like to own my bad decisions and not pass them off on Satan.  But we would go all week without a single disagreement and then on the way to church, we would disagree and I would end up at church angry, not listening to half of the sermon because I am justifying my anger in my mind (real mature Alissa).

Lesson learned: Satan is real.  There is nothing he would rather do than come in between my amazing husband and I on the way to church or when we sit down to read the Bible together, or when we pray together, or...

So I hope in 50 years, I remember this important lesson and I am socking it to the devil by resisting a quick harsh word and instead offering a kind word or take a moment to pray.

 I am a big love is... fan!  The comics are so cute!

**I would just like you all to know that I am really looking forward to being 73, I will finally not have to give excuses for my life: I can go to bed early, go to the mall early in the morning just to walk around, crochet blankets to my heart's content, play bingo, eat rhubarb (my amazing husband says only 80 years old crave rhubarb), read cookbooks, and change my name to Hazel (I like my name now, but I think after age 70, I will just start telling folks that my name is Hazel.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

wish list

I crack myself up.  I am also a freak.  My momma (Binks) asked what we wanted for our anniversary.  After thinking for a few hours, I have come up with my list:

1.) A butter measurer. The butter here comes in a huge cube (think four sticks of butter morphed into one).  Or it comes in sticks (like America) but the sticks do not look to be the correct proportion to me.  There are no measurements on the wrapper of butter.

2.)  A mini clothes lint thingy.  This cuts the lint balls (good description?) off of your clothes.  If you have never used one, go find one and buy one.  It is great!  It is potentially fun to use as well.  And it makes your clothes look better.

So that is it.  Both items are small and easy to ship.

p.s. Binks, please still send the sheets

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unnoticed Blessings

4So sometimes I have free time at work.  And for the most part, I have unlimited internet access.  Let's just say I am well acquainted with "moms who homeschool, eat natural foods, cloth diaper their babies, and blog".  Sorry Moms if that offends you, but I think it is a good description.  Can I just say that I am blessed?!  I do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed my children.  When I clean the kitchen, it stays clean, it is not instantly filled with messes from little ones.  And most of all: I do one load of laundry every 10 days.  Yes it is true.  I have read so many blog posts about laundry schedules.  Some moms do two loads a laundry a day.  That is 20 times more laundry than I do!  I am so blessed that I do not constantly have to be worrying about who has clean laundry and who has dirty laundry, etc.

I am also blessed that I can clean our whole apartment in about an hour (that is if I am going to sweep, mop, clean the bathroom, and scrub the stove area).  I usually spend about 15 minutes a day cleaning. 

Maybe (by maybe, I mean hopefully) someday I will have a bunch of kids and will do 20 times more laundry and have a cleaning schedule for the rest of my house, but for now, I feel blessed.  I have learned to be content with a pot, a pan, two burners of my stove, no oven, no dryer, and counter space that is the size of pizza box :)  

Thank you Lord for the unnoticed blessings of simplicity.  

Monday, May 23, 2011


I am rocking out to Sara Groves singing Christmas music right now!  Yeah!  I love Christmas music!

Last week, I tried to make some granola bars. (Side note: I love granola bars.  Love them!)   In college, my roommate always said that a granola bar was equal to a cookie in nutritional value.  I am going to try to make a semi-healthy granola bar.  I have searched (not too hard) for granola bar recipes on line.  First step in the instruction says, "Preheat..."  I stop reading as soon as I see Preheat.  Or the ingredient list is ridiculous (for someone living in South Korea), so I do not even make it to the Preheat part.

My dear friend, Amanda emailed me a recipe that had no sugar in it.  So I decided to give it a try.  This is what I got:

Not so much?

The main problem was getting the mixture to set up.

This is what I tried: "toast" 2 cups of oatmeal.  By toast, I really mean, put 2 cups of oatmeal in a pan on a stove and stir occasionally while getting the other ingredients ready.   This is how I make toast, so I thought I would give it a try?  I have no idea if it worked.  Anywho, then I dumped the "toasted" oatmeal into a bowl.

I poured a half cup of PB (yes, I know PB has sugar in it) and half a cup on honey into the pan and stirred it together over low (or med-low?) heat.  Once it seemed mixed together pretty well, I dumped the oatmeal, toasted oatmeal into the mixture and stirred some more.  Then I sprinkled in some dried cranberries.  Then I scoped/poured the mixture into a pan.  I let it cool.

Don't get me wrong, it tasted great.  However, the granola bar texture was not really there AND you had to eat it with a spoon.  Not so much for grab and go...

There has to be a first time for everything, right?  Hopefully attempt 2 will go better.

If you have a no-bake granola bar recipe, share it please!  Thank you :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Hi friends!  We went to see a Daegu Baseball game with our friend Tina today.  It was  fun experience.  The Daegu Samsung Lions played the Busan Lotte Giants (I am not sure about the name of the Busan team...sorry Busan)

First Korean Baseball game with my amazing hubs!

Things to know about going to a Korean baseball game:
1.) Pray that a Korean on the bus will help you get off at the right place, walk in the right direction, help you buy tickets, and point you in the right direction of the entry gate.  I was not anticipating this kind Korean, but he was so helpful.  Thank you, Jesus, for helping us out! 

2.) Get there really, really, really early.  This is the way ticket sales go in Korea.  Get to the park. Buy your ticket.  Good luck finding a seat.  It is a first come, first serve basis (a.k.a no assigned seats).  So the earlier you get there, the better chance you have finding a seat.  Side note: just because you buy a ticket, does not ensure you will get a seat.  If they fill up, you are out of luck and just have to stand in the back.
The view from our seats (we were in the outfield)

3.) In Daegu, one baseball ticket costs the same price as a haircut (or at least the same price as my haircut).  Ready for the price?  $6.47 US dollars per person.
This is our friend, Tina.   So glad she came with us!

4.) Bring fried chicken and chopsticks.  I am not sure why, but that is what all the Koreans did.  We took PB and honey sandwiches.  They do not check your bags, so you can bring in whatever you want!

close up of the air-balloon things

5.) Bring those balloon-stick things.  Super popular among Koreans.  Koreans really like to cheer and hit the air stick things together. 
Do you see all that blue?  It is Koreans with their air-balloon things!

5and a half).  Try to learn the chants.  The Daegu-ans (the Daeguites?)  had a chant for each player on their team.  So when it was the Lions' turn to bat, the crowd would cheer for the entire half of the inning.  I thought it would only last for a few moments, but they were still going strong in the seventh inning (we potentially left early).

6.) Try to get seats near a Korean family so that way if you get tired of watching the game, you can stare at cute Korean children.  But you have to get there early (See #2)
How precious is that?  No, I do not know this little girl.  Yes, I am creeper.  But she was just too cute!

7.) If the people start chanting (see number five and a half)  "knock home run" (I think that is what they were saying?), join in!  It is awesome when you are chanting, "home run" and then one is hit!

I think that is it!  I would totally suggest going to a baseball game if you live in Korea!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If you ask a Korean for water....

I went for a "long run" today with my American running partner.  We thought about going 10 miles, but then decided on 9.  It was so hot.  We spent mile 7 talking about how thirsty we were.

There is a running club (I don't actually know too much about it).  Anywho, every Saturday at 9am they have a little race down by the river.  Sometimes, we see them when we are running.

Just to clarify.  It was hot.  We were really thirsty.  So we decided to stop (at mile 7.78) and see if we could get some free water from the tent of the running club people.  As we neared the tent, we noticed cups of water (to our great joy!).  We asked if we could have some.  They said yes.  Then they started offering us makkoli.  We said no in English.  We said no in Korean.  They kept offering us makkoli (I am not sure how to actually spell makkoli.  Whenever people say "makkoli" I think of broccoli.)  Do you know what makkoli is?  Let me tell you:

Rice wine.  Or at least that is what they say it is.

I know this will come as a great shock to you all, but I am not a fan of makkoli.  I really do not enjoy drinking it at all.

So there we were, drinking our water, with old men asking us (over and over again) if we wanted some makkoli.  Just about the time that I thought we were going to make it makkoli-free....an older man approached me with a bottle and a cup.  Yup, I "got" to drink a cup of makkoli (which totally cancels out the water I drank).

And then...

As we were walking away from the tent (obviously leaving...) a man came after us and fed us kimchi using his chopsticks.  I love eating food that other people are feeding me.  (yes, yes, yes, I know: not good, not bad, just different).

If you give a mouse a cookie...(do you know that story?  It is a good one!).  If you ask a Korean for water, you will get makkoli and kimchi too.

And you have to finish your run with makkoli/water/kimchi all amalgamating together in your stomach.  But we finished!  First 9 miler since the marathon!

Note to self: Self, next time bring some water with you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If I was in America....

I usually try not to think, "If I was in America, I would...".  It is pointless.  I am not in America.  I am here.  But, if I was in America, I would so make this for dinner tonight!

The amazing hubs and I love meat!  Love it!  Meat is so expensive in Korea.  But if you live in America, stop in at Aldi, buy some ground turkey, and go to it.

These are the best "hamburgers" in my opinion.  Thank you Megan from Nebraska for creating this yumminess!

From Taste of Home website:
You'll get a burst of flavor with every bite of these hearty burgers. Not a fan of ground turkey? This recipe will absolutely change your mind! — Megan Crow, Lincoln, Nebraska


  • 2 tablespoons onion soup mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1-1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 5 whole wheat hamburger buns, split


In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Shape into 10 thin patties. Spoon red pepper and cheese onto center of five patties; top with remaining patties and press edges firmly to seal.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear. Serve on buns. Yield: 5 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 burger equals 325 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 96 mg cholesterol, 674 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I am 98% sure that my amazing husband does not read my blog.  There is no real reason for him to read the blog.  I mean he lives with me for goodness sake.  So I can tell you this without him knowing!  hehehehehe

Secret: I am starting a 30 day challenge!  I love challenges!  For the next 30 days, I am going to encourage my husband!  Check out this wonderful site!  There are all different types of challenges for women.

I am going to start on May 22nd.  This means that the 15 days before and after our anniversary will be full of encouragement for my husband!  That seems like a pretty good gift, right?  I will let you know how it goes once I have completed the challenge!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Need a laugh?

Ya'll, my amazing husband is hil-ar-i-ous!  Sometimes I ask him questions that I know he knows the answer to.  Sometimes my amazing husband says unexpected things.  Sometimes they happen within the same conversation.


Me: Honey, do you know what June 5th is?

Amazing Husband: I can do all things through Christ who....I was laughing at an obnoxiously loud volume, so I did not hear the rest of what he had to say.

He cracks me up.  I hope you have a smile on your face now :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Letter from my Students

May 15th  is Teacher's Day in Korea (May 5th is Children's Day, May 8th is Parents' Day, May 10th is Buddha's Birthday and May 15th is Teachers' Day...so many holidays in such a short amount of time!)

I got a letter from some of my 6th grade students.  I thought I would share it with you!

Dear Alissa teacher,
Hello, We name is Hey-Ji, So-min, Woo-Jung, Ye-seo.
We are writing this letter to say "thank you!" for teaching us well.  We are very happy because your teaching us your teaching very good.  We meet you sometime.
But next year we can't meet you.
So we annoying.
Next time beg request you labor our teaching.  Thank you teacher have a nice day.  Good Bye ~
from your students.

How sweet are those girls!

Happy Teachers' Day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Ya'll, yesterday was a great day!  My amazing husband's uncle, cousin et al. sent us a great care package!  Yeah!  This care package contained many wonderful and exciting things.

1.) Our Wedding DVD!  I have been waiting for this for the last 11 months and 6 days!  The main reason for my anticipation is that guests at our wedding were able to give us advice.  However, we did not get to see or hear this advice until last night.  It was so great to see smiling faces of family and friends giving us great pieces of advice!  Maybe for our one year anniversary I will share with you some of the more "creative" pieces of advice we were given.  To say the least, I laughed, cried, and cried because I was laughing so hard.  We are so, so, so blessed with awesome friends and fam!  We love you all!  I also now the perfect antidote for homesickness!  Thank you Uncle Bill and Cousin Don for all of your hard work.

My morning snack before
2.) Yumminess!  There were cranberries, glazed pecans, almonds, and mini chocolate chips (remember?).  Oh man!  I was so happy.  I potentially made a big ol' bowl of mixed wonderfullness!  I can not wait for snack time at school today!  It is going to be great!  And, we also got some caramels from Gram!
(Okay, maybe she is not my Gram, but she is my amazing husband's dad's brother's wife's mom...but that is quite a title, so we just stick with Gram).  Sidenote: I say caramel like Koreans now.  car(like the vehicle)-uh-mel.  I also say the phase, "take a rest".  End of sidenote.

3.) New clothes! I was so excited!  Yeah!  I love expanding my "two-suitcases" of clothes (remember?).

Every time, we get a care package from America I think to myself, "self this is the best care package ever!"  But I really do think that this was the best care package ever!  Thanks again to the Uncle Bill clan!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Buddha's Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is Buddha's Birthday.  So I guess that makes today Buddha's Birthday's Eve, right?  Whatever you want to call today, just know one important detail: We do not have school!  Yeah!

What does one do on a day off of school in May?  Hang out with friends, of course!  My lovely friend from Busan came to visit me!  Yeah for friends!  I am a math nerd...so let me show you why I love this friend a lot:

A=young, B=Christian, C=married, D=American,E=girl
This is a symmetrical 5 set Venn diagram (thanks to wikipedia).  My friend from Busan fits in the middle.  She is ABCDE or a young, married, American wife who has the same job as me!

We had quite the adventure!  I took my dear friend on a tour of Daegu...she saw the wonderful subway and bus systems, we had a picnic, and even a quaint walk in the country all on the way to our destination (a.k.a we got really, really, really lost)  Reason #47,236 that I love living in Korea: Koreans are really helpful.  At one point in time, we stopped at a GS25 to ask for directions.  The guy there was really helpful!  He showed us on his phone where to go.  So we set off following his directions...after 10 or 15 minutes of walking, we noticed a guy in a car, stopping near us and talking to us.  It was the GS 25 man!  He gave us a ride all the way to the temple!  I love it when Koreans take pity on foreigners.

So pretty!

Once we finally found it, we had a great time exploring Donghwasa Temple.  If you live in Daegu, you should definitely go visit it!  Do not ask me for directions, because I will get you completely lost. 

I think each lantern represents a prayer to Buddha?

According to some website (that I can not refind at the present moment...) this is the largest Buddha in all of Asia.  They are still constructing part of it, so we did not get to see the complete Buddha, but close enough.

I like big Buddhas and I can not lie
We also saw some preparations for Buddha's Birthday:

I may have edited this a bit on picnic...
 They had these pretty paper rhombicuboctahedron.  I want one for my math class someday.  They were really big, like bigger than my head!

After we enjoyed our self given tour of Donghwasa and big Buddha, we headed back into the city.  I would like to proudly state that we did not get lost on our way back.  Yeah for learning through experience!

Once my friend was headed to back to her happy home in Busan, my amazing husband came up with a great idea for dinner!  Presenting: Use everything you have on hand to make something yummy!  We had in our refrigerator: one avocado (I splurged and spent 3.60 US dollars on an avocado), a bunch of lettuce, cheese, chicken, and some sweet and sour sauce.  It was delicious!  I have been craving avocado for a couple of months, so I really tried to savor it!

All in all, it was a great Buddha's Birthday Eve.  The joke from my amazing husband (that you may have seen if you have facebook). Why can't buddhitst vacuum in corners?  They don't have any attachments.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A week in review

I think this is my 100th blog post!  Sorry, no giveaways and no 100 lists.  But I will give you some trivia: Can you guess what I took with me to kindergarten on 100 day?

I am a little behind on posts, so let's rewind to last Sunday.

Hello Pohang!

My amazing husband was visiting the DMZ.  So I decided to do some traveling of my own.  I visited Pohang, a city about 60-90 minutes from Daegu.  I believe that there is a US Marine base located there.  Thank you Marines for serving our country!  You guys and gals rock!  Pohang is also the birthplace of the current president of South Korea.  Pohang is located on the coast.  We got to see the East Sea.  It was a fun day at the beach.

There were many a picture taken.
Pohang is known for its crabs, sushi, and other types of seafood.

This is the first sea creature tower that I have ever seen

On Thursday, we had the day off of school (for Children's Day!) and it just happened to be our 11 month wedding anniversary (gotta celebrate the small victories!).  So we headed to Daegu Arboretum for a picnic lunch.  Ya'll, my new favorite holiday is Children's Day!  I love this day!  Here is what happens.  Children get a small present (popular this year: bubble gun, fairy wings, a cool hat etc.) and then the parents spend the day with their kids.  How great is that!?!  It seems that there is more of an emphasis on spending time together rather than buying the perfect/big/expensive gift.  love it!

Cute Korean children!

The Arboretum is a little bit of a walk (20 minutes maybe) from the subway.  But it is worth it.  Plus you burn off that brownie that you may have eaten.  My amazing husband and I spent more time pointing out cute kids to each other than the time we spent pointing out pretty plants - that's how we roll!  It was a great day!  If you live in Daegu, check out the Arboretum at least once.

The hubs

Answer: Nails.  I took 100 nails to kindergarten duck taped to a piece of cardboard.  I was a weird kid.

One last pic from the Arboretum

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marathon Movie!

My amazing husband made a movie about my marathon!  Check it out here: http://ianandalissa.shutterfly.com/videos/7

Thanks amazing husband for taking time to document this experience!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Crazy Schedule!

So it is Wednesday night as I write this.  But it is like Friday night, because I do not have school tomorrow (more on that later).  If you are reading this in America and you feel jealous, please do not.  I got 0 days off for Easter.  Anywho, it feels like Friday night.  But we have school on Friday and Sports Day is Saturday morning.  (Yes, I will be going to go to school again this Saturday.)  To say the least, I am confused with what day it is - bah!

For some reason (unknown to me), we left school at 1:45 today.  We {pronoun antecedent: me, new co-teacher, and special teacher...we are referred to as the "young subject teachers"} went to Lotte and watched a movie.  Praise the Lord that it was a movie in English with Korean subtitles.  The movie we saw was Source Code.  It was okay.  I tried to explain the plot to my amazing husband when I got back this afternoon, but it is complicated.  So google it.

Like I said earlier, we have tomorrow off school.  Here in Korea, it is Children's Day.  As I understand it, you just do something fun with your kids and give them presents.  My amazing husband gets Thursday and Friday off from school.  I just get Thursday off.  I have big and exciting plans (not really).  So check back tomorrow to see what I did

What do you like to do on a day off?