Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Electricity in Korea

I might have posted about this last year but my mind is being refreshed again. It has been hot and humid here and we have been running the air conditioning more that normal.  We do not have central air in our Korean apartment but free-standing units that supply ac to the room in which they were installed.  We only have two AC units for our three bedroom apartment, so not every room gets cooled as nicely as I would like.

Electricity in Korea is not too bad...if you don't use much.  But, the more  you use, the more you pay.  You would think that if I used 50K and my bill was $70.00 that I would be able to use 100K and my bill would be $140.00.  Not so true!! 

Last month we used 350K and our bill was about $60.00. Hey, I can handle a bill like that.   This month our usage is around 740K and unfortunately our bill will be about $300.00, and that is just for electricity.  This past fall there was a rate hike on utilities in Korea and the chart that I am posting may be off a little bit, but at least it gives you an idea of how it works.

We are a frugal family as it is and I would say that we had one or two days that we had the air on for more than 5 hours.  The other days, we would turn on the AC in the late afternoon or early evening, just to cool down the house so everyone could fall asleep.  I have heard of people spending almost $1,000 a month just on electricity.  They are probably running it most of the day and /or evening.  I'm just glad I don't have to pay their bills.

Here is the electricity usage chart.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quick and Easy Meals

I wanted to share this video with you because this is exactly what I do, when I'm not living in Korea that is.  Here in Korea, we can only get frozen ground beef or frozen chicken breasts.  We can choose to buy the fresh meat at the local Korean grocery store but meat here are VERY expensive.  I think this video that Jen made says what I would say, if I was doing a video.  I like reading her blog too!  Check her out at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Homeschooling for High School

This coming school year, my oldest daughter will be starting her freshman year of high school. Wow, I can't believe she is that old already.  It seems like just yesterday that we were beginning our homeschool journey with kindergarten.  Things were easier back then.  I only had one child to teach.  I didn't have to worry about transcripts, high school credits or a diploma.

When we were in the United States, we would follow the homeschool laws of the state where we lived. Even if we had residency in Pennsylvania but our family was living in South Carolina, we were subject to the laws of South Carolina. 

But things aren't that easy here in South Korea.  Since we don't live in a state, what homeschool guidelines or rules do we fall under??  I have been very concerned about making sure Marissa's high school years count or that she can get a diploma after we leave Korea next year. By the time she graduates high school, we could be living in at least 3 if not 4 different locations or states.  I don't want her to be at a loss because I didn't do the right thing.

So because of our unique situation, I have been researching accredited schools that she could attend.  My first choice was a local International Christian School here in South Korea.  It's a great school with electives and it's accredited  BUT it costs over $15,000.  Not quite in the price range I had been hoping for.

My search then took me to online Christian schools.  And there are a lot of them.  Some are all computer based, while others send you everything you need to complete their coursework.  Some are accredited, while many are not.

We finally decided on a school that was recommended to us by a retired US Army Colonel.  Our choice for Marissa for this fall is NorthStar Academy.   In the dealings that I have had with the school thus far, I am very pleased.  Marissa doesn't officially start school until next Monday, but we are looking forward to a good year.

I know that I probably could have just taught Marissa myself and not have worried about finding an accredited school, but I had to make a decision that was right for our family right now. 

Maybe you are in a time of making decisions for your life or those in your family.  Let me encourage you to seek the Lord.  He will give you wisdom when you ask Him.  Trust Him to lead you and your family today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back in Korea

Since the end of May, the girls and I had been in the United States. We had a wonderful time reconnecting wtih family and friends, while also making some new friendships too.  While I was not eager to return to Korea, my husband and I made the decision to keep our family together.  So last week, we all came back to finish the remainig 8 months of my husband's tour here.

As we returned, Korea is in the middle of it's monsoon season. Just the week before our arrival, the area where we live, received over 22 inches of rainfall in just over 36 hours.  Needless to say, there were mudslides and flooding.  Many businesses near one of the local Army posts were badly damaged. 

Again, we are looking at getting more rain from the remnants of a typhoon that is in the Yellow Sea.  I guess the 5 inches we are expected to get is nothing in comparison to the storm that hit over a week ago.

I am hoping to get back into a blogging routine.  To be more consistant than I have been previously.  I don't know how some woman, who homeschool, cook everything from scratch and have more than 7 kids, keep up with blogging.  Maybe when we get back into the states, I can attend a conference on blogging to better understand how life in cyber blog space really works.

Until then, I will try to be faithful with the little, so that I might be faithful with much.