this past week has been a whirlwind of late nights and early mornings, laughter and the giggles of little girls, broken English and google translator, swimming, swimming and more swimming, some rollerskating, frog hunting and dog "training" rib eating and movie watching, learning to cook Korean foods and teaching how to cook American foods, music and coffee, dress-up and dolls, homeschooling discussions and prayers and lots of eating and napping!
you see, this week we have had a very special family here visiting us and enjoying all things Texas.
for the past couple of years, i have been Shay-Teacher, teaching English as a second language to Korean children via an online classroom, for a company called HomeSchool Friend. The K sisters were some of my first students and by far my favorite. i have met lots of their family during class and they mine, and we have talked about meeting for many, many months. Sarah (9) has talked about my family everyday in class for a very long time, she knew all the names of our pets, family members (including Mimi and Grandad), what we like to do, what our house is like and much more, without ever having been here. i am pretty sure some days she knew more about what my family was doing than i did. she has talked about coming to visit, swim, and sleep in my room and this past week her dream came true. Sarah, Grace (5) and their parents came for a week long visit to my house.
leading up to last week we were unsure what to expect. as much as i love and know Sarah and Grace in the classroom, we weren't really sure what the family was going to be like, since the Asian culture is so different from ours.our worries were for naught, as it turned out to be the best, most enjoyable week for both families.
our families quickly learned that love speaks the same language. God knew a long time ago that we would all be instant friends with many heart connections and it was confirmed over and over again. Mrs. K and my mama loved to drink coffee and look at all mama's homeschooling books. books in English are very expensive and quality reading material is hard to come by in Korea so when mama brought out all of her books she is giving away Mrs. K could hardly contain her excitement. we will be shipping about 3 boxes of books to them! what a blessing! they also enjoyed talking about childbirth and rearing, schooling, and all things mothering. it was very neat to hear just how much they did things the same way.
dad and Mr. K enjoyed beer and ribs, baseball and karaoke-Mr.K was a great karaoke singer!- and lots of discussion about Korea and America and the time they have spent in both countries. it was great to see them so relaxed and able to enjoy each other's company very much.
Mags, Sarah and Grace spent the week becoming very close sisters. Mags and Grace said they were twins and acted like it! they are so much alike it was almost scary! they swam 2-3 times a day (the girls were amazed that we have a pool), played Mother-Sister-Sister (that is what they kept calling "house"), jumped of the trampoline for the first time, ate ice cream, watched classic Disney movies, went roller skating, played Candy Land until Mags got tired of Sarah winning, dressed up, painted nails, read books, rode horses, and many other wonderful things. they girls were so excited to be here and it was wonderful to see how fast they felt at home.
a great treat for both Sarah and i was getting to have class in person! i loved getting to sit with her and really have time to dig into what we are working on. not to mention there is so much lost in online schooling. she learned more in the last week than i have been able to teach her in months! it was wonderful to watch her grow and open up. Grace really enjoyed trying to teach me Korean. i butchered it for the most part but she would clap her hands and tell me to do it again...wonder where she got that from...she told me that "Grace-Teacher teaches Korean and Shay-Teacher teaches English". we all laughed at her antics all week...quite the silly goose, i'd say.
last night we took them to a local BBQ joint that serves dinner "family style". we found everyone cowboy boots and they thought it was the best thing ever! Mr. K kept saying how fat he would be if he stayed here much longer! on one of our trips to town Mr. K remarked how amazing it was that everyone in Texas waves when you pass them on the road. he said people in Korea wave...but it is usually with only one finger! :D we sure laughed about that! (he was quite the comedian to say the least)
we had one of our regular music nights while they were here, with a BYOPizza and ice cream dinner. they were in awe at how many people came to our house and what a wonderful group of musicians we have. Mr. K said they could all become "movie stars" in Korea being able to play so many different instruments and sing so many different kinds of songs.
by the end of the week, we all agreed that the K family really just needed to be our neighbors. there is something to be said about two families, living across the world being able to become the best of friends.
no one wanted to leave our house today and there were plenty of tears to prove it. hugs, kisses, i love yous, and farewells took a long while after we loaded their car up. everyone held up until they were about 20 feet down the drive, then the flood gates broke. from the car you could hear sobbing since the windows were down, and Mags and i were crying on the drive way. poor Mags has been crying most of the day saying "i can't watch Cinderella, it reminds me of them!" "i just miss my sisters" "who am i ever going to play with" "i loved them soooooo much" and many other sweet things. and she is simply voicing what all of our hearts are saying.
God blessed us with the visit of this dear, dear family in so many ways and we can't wait for them to get home so we can skype them!