Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One Little Word in January

I chose SIMPLIFY as my word for this year, but I have to confess something. It is really hard to make time to simplify my life, and I have already committed to several events that I had originally thought I would say no to. Plus, I'm taking 3 online classes in relation to scrapbooking, so they are very enjoyable, of course. And, I have other things going on that would make anyone's head spin...perhaps I will write about some of these in a later blog post. Oh well. Got to enjoy life too, right?

Ali Edwards' first assignment for OLW 2014 was to make two lay outs plus complete some journaling about our word choices.

The assignment including the following: Choose a word, Make a lay out including a photo of you, the definition of the word, and your reasons for choosing it. Finally, we had to find or create a symbol for our word, something we could keep around that would be a constant reminder.

Then, find a quote. I found two. Couldn't resist. As I was making my quote page, I realized that the shape of the quotes looked like the figure 8. The figure 8 is reminded me of two rings set together, and this lead me to think about symbols for "unity". It all came together then. One of my reasons for choosing "SIMPLIFY" is to focus on the family and bring us back together again after these last 3 years of stress and hardship. Many of the class members are ordering or having symbolic jewelry or household decorations custom made that will remind them of their word. I haven't decided yet if I will do this or not, but it is much easier to find a piece of jewelry that represents "unity" rather than one that symbolizes "simplify". (Oh, I just thought of something though. What about those JUST SAY NO stickers to remind kids not to succumb to peer pressure?)

The 3rd part was to think about different ways to use our word. It was a journaling assignment, but I decided to make it into a lay out, much like the January 2013 assignment, so that I can print it and have it hanging by my desk.

Finally, the kids and I found some rocks in Ailin's collection and painted them. They wanted to choose words too, so I painted our words on the rocks with liquid paper (white out). Ailin's word is HOUSE because she wants us to move into a house. Luka's word is GLEE because he likes the soundtracks from the TV drama.

The word simplify, being coupled with my other 2 online classes, has been a challenge for me so far. I have not made much practical progress, but I am focusing on "menu planning" this month. I have been paying more attention to my preferences and habits regarding this. I LIKE using CookPad in English, but feasibly, I can only cook decent meals 3 nights a week due to Ailin's dance/swimming lesson schedule. So, on Sundays, when I make the grocery list, I go to CookPad and choose 3 recipes to make. For the other nights, I make easy meals, like sandwiches and chips or spaghetti with meat sauce. Things that I know the kids will love and will be very easy to make. Last year, I did make green smoothies every night for myself (from about July to October), but I realize now that I don't actually WANT to drink smoothies in lieu of dinner, that I would rather eat real food that I have cooked. I found some simple ingredients to use in my lunch boxes every day, so not only are my lunches really healthy and filling, but they are also very simple to assemble in the mornings. I make things like oinarizushi, chikuwa, tsukemono, onigiri, mini-salads, and leftovers from dinner. In terms of menu planning, I think things are improving, though if the past is any indication of the future, I will most likely get bored in a few months and have to shake things up with a new cookbook or some new-fangled method to getting dinner on the table. One thing is for sure though. I get a lot of joy out of cooking and trying new recipes, and Japanese home-cooked food is surprisingly easy to make and requires very few ingredients. I bet people who have never lived in Japan would be surprised to read that! 


Tanyalee Kahler said...

Life is busy - so I can imagine simplify would be a hard word to embrace. But it sounds like you are on the right track. I love a good menu plan :)

Missus Wookie said...

I like the painted rocks and the reasons the kids chose their words. Busy and simplified are difficult to combine - but I just posted about making salads ahead for the week if that would help. Menu planning is a life saver here - that and grocery delivery.