In a Jiffy!


All the contact lens wearers out there, raise your hands.  How many times have you been forced to choose between replacing an ancient pair of glasses or having your years’ supply of contacts fully covered by insurance?  It’s a hideous choice, and one I’ve faced nearly every year of my adult life.

No longer.

Check these out, yo.:

Two (count them , TWO) new pairs of glasses for less than $40 total (no insurance), made for me in under an hour.  Here’s how it goes:  I walk in and hand over my current glasses. A very nice man points me towards the table of free frames.  (There are over 100 to choose from.)  I choose, and the clerk seats me at a cafe table and brings me a delicious Korean vitamin water.  I chat with my sis in law.  30 minutes later, give or take, I walk out the door with brand new glasses.  The kicker: I’m going back on Tuesday to pick up my fancy back-ordered contacts, astigmatism correction and all!

Think the U.S. could learn a thing or two about eye wear from the Koreans?  Yep, me too.


This is called suek tdeok.  “Tdeok” is a common type of rice cake here.  Not the crunchy kind most Americans are used to, though.  It has a more gummy texture.  I’m hard-pressed to find a consistency to compare it to, but perhaps raw pizza dough?

“Suek”, according to my friend Ji Won’s translator, is “mugwort.”  I almost laughed when she said it because honestly, I thought mugwort was only found in Hogwarts Herbology classes.

I didn’t mind it… it has an earthy flavor to it that was sort of addicting once you get used to it.  The kids, however, wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.  Which made me feel terrible because Ji Won’s mother-in-law made them from scratch, complete with going to the mountains to harvest mugwort…  I only wish I was joking.


I decided to hurry up and try to finish out our school year by the last week of May in order to not be too stressed the last couple of weeks here.  But that means that I’ve been a bit of a slavedriver with schoolwork.  Gianna has fared the worse, and her most difficult subject by far has been math.

Normally I love our Singapore Math, but I’ve been really annoyed with the way the book teaches double digit addition.  Today, after Gianna struggled to understand yet another murky lesson, I took matters into my own hands.  We skipped ahead a lesson, I spent 5 minutes showing her how to make a place value chart and stack the addends, and then compute to find the sum.

Boom.  Girl got it in a jiffy, and finished 3 pages of addition in under 10 minutes.  I’m not bragging, people.  It was hardly a stroke of genius.  Just a frustrated teacher-mom following her gut.

Why do I feel like that page makes her seem so grown up?


Yesterday we went downtown with our friends and spent some time learning about the Korean poet Lee Sung Hwa.  His traditional house is preserved amid urban development in downtown Daegu.

Here is the poem he’s famous for, painted for display on an exterior wall:


Tonight we made homemade pizzas (balsamic onions and feta for the parents- what WHAT?!), ate not-so-homemade ice cream, and watched Homeward Bound as a family.

No one had any fun at all.  See?


I feel kind of bad about how Ezekiel has been portrayed lately.  I thought I should post some redeeming facets of his personality.

See how sweet he is when he’s asleep?

And brother napping together?  Double the cuteness, double the fun.


I saw this months ago on Simcha’s blog, then one of my absolute favorite blogger friends Rebekah posted it on her place last week.  I tear up every time I watch it.  JP II, WE LOVE YOU!

“In His luf, in His luf!”  Have an absolutely wonderful weekend, friends!

Head over to Jen for more Quick Takes.


  1. Ummmm, those “rice cakes” look not yummy. That was the nicest way I could say it 🙂

    Your daughter is BEAUTIFUL and how the heck do they teach math? I thought the way you did it was the only way? But without wanting to believe stereotypes…aren’t Koreans pretty good at math?

    • Yes, they look totally gross. I can see how one would never try them. They are made with mugwort after all!

      Thank you! The math was so weird. They were trying to get to the top/bottom addition by saying 25 + 12 = 25 + 10+ 2=? It was just too many steps for my sweet girl. Simplify!

    • I remember Right Start Math trying to do it that way and it drove my son nuts too until I just stopped and showed him the normal way! But, then my next son taught himself that way even though we’re now using a different program. 🙂

      And what a video!! I loved it.

  2. I just think you are brilliant for having an ancient pair of glasses. I have worn glasses since fourth grade (and lets just say I’m rather older than you) and I kid you not, I have never gone a full year without either losing or breaking them. Any pair of glasses I ever have is taped. Which is why I wear contacts. And I make a huge investment and buy several years’ worth of contacts at the same time so I don’t have to go back and have a yearly eye exam. I’m responsible like that.

    Your daughter is so extremely cute and looks like a chocolate version of my girls, and why oh why are we ending up on opposite ends of a continent!!! Thanks for the shout out, and yes, I will take napping Ezekiel as well as fire starting Ezekiel because love is love.

    • Because these were (supposedly) quick takes, I didn’t give the full history of my glasses. But the glasses I have now were bought here in Korea about a year ago. They’ve already been broken once and I just replaced the frames. Before that, I was wearing the absolute worst pair… Broken, taped, missing an arm. Ridiculous.

      Agreed agreed agreed. Why indeed? My stand is going to k ow something’s up when I campaign for a vacation in Florida. 🙂

  3. Your daughter is beautiful. I hear so many good things about Singapore math…we don’t use it, but I know a lot of people like it. I was just too intimated by learning a “new way” to do Math, so instead we use Math U See.

    Your glasses place sounds neat. I buy all my glasses online, but I end up with some frames I don’t like as much, My strategy is to buy several pairs since they are so cheap and then just wear my favorite and keep the others as spares.

    • Thank you! D you like Math U See? That was the other one we considered.

      Smart about the glasses. I hardly care about the frames since I mostly only wear them at home. My poor husband.

    • I do like math u see. It is fairly straightforward and easy. It’s not super fancy, but I think it’s a good program for math basics and it works fairly well for us.

  4. The first time I saw the JP II video, I thought it was cheesy. But this time? Must be the pregnancy hormones. I want to be holy like him. 🙂

    Love the photo of your little one with ice cream all over his face. Looks like a family win.

  5. Awwww the picture of the boys napping together is so sweet!!! I can’t believe you can get them sleeping in the same place at the same time – even in separate rooms John Paul and Cecilia keep each other awake half the time!

  6. That napping picture melted me, too.

  7. When you get back to the US… check out Warby Parker: . THEY are AWESOME… glasses for ~$90. (not $40 – but still cheap for US) And this is the cool part: they send you 5 samples at no cost to try on at home. And – they are super cute too! (The company and it’s founders are also really neat.)

    • Michelle, that site is awesome! I’ve recently become re-convicted about spending my money with companies that provide services such as these. So, so cool. Thanks for sharing!